Jacksonville veterans remember lives lost in Pearl Harbor attack

Monday marks 79 years since the attack on Pearl Harbor.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Monday marks 79 years since the attack on Pearl Harbor.

It was Dec. 7, 1941, when a surprise raid by the Japanese killed more than 2,400 Americans and left another 1,100 injured in the harbor on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. Hundreds of Japanese aircraft damaged or destroyed 20 American naval vessels, including eight battleships.

The Fleet Reserve Association Branch 290 held a remembrance ceremony Monday at its lodge off Mayport Road, honoring the lives lost in a pivotal moment for World War II and U.S. history.

The ceremony was shorter and more subdued than years past, in large part because of the pandemic. But a few veterans gathered to pay their respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

“It’s very important for us to come together and remember days like this because it reminds us of why the men and women who served before us did what they did,” said Tommy Stephens, president of the Fleet Reserve Association Branch 290.

Due to the pandemic, some survivors can’t attend the traditional ceremonies in Hawaii, but they expressed hope that they can make the trip next year to mark eight decades since the attack.