PORT JERVIS – The bravery and sacrifices at Pearl Harbor, 80-years ago this year, were remembered in Port Jervis by veterans, police, firefighters, residents, city officials, and others who gathered waterside in prayer on Sunday, December 5, 2021.
Port Jervis’ Tri-States VFW Naval Ship Post #7241 and Rosa-Fleming VFW Post #161 led a ceremony held at West End Beach, including the tossing of a memorial wreath into the Delaware River in tribute.
Dozens listened intently as Naval ship Captain Fabrizzio Morejon recalled the December 7, 1941 attack on America, which he noted “changed the course of history and the United States of America forever.”
He said the men and women “who were on peacetime duty at 7:54 a.m., became war heroes at 7:55 a.m. In less than two hours, more than 2,400 service members were killed and hundreds more were wounded, and a large part of our naval fleet was damaged or sunk.”
Morejon said while we recall the events of December 7, 1941, “more importantly, we remember the thousands of soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who died during that terrible ambush and in the years that followed.”
A WWII veteran who served in the wartime years that followed, stood beside Morejon as he recalled the attack that lasted less than 90-minutes but brought devastation. The assault led to America’s entrance to World War II, and to the service of Port Jervis WWII veteran Vincent Livingston and so many others. Livingston served in the United States Navy aboard the USS Nassau CVE#16 from 1944-46. As a Past Captain of Port’s Naval Ship, Livingston has given much in service as a veteran and with his church, Boy Scouts, and other community organizations.
Morejon reassured that with such strength in its military and veterans, “America will never go quietly into the night. We will always fight back, and we will prevail.”
Mayor Kelly Decker, who led those gathered in prayer, spoke of his visit to the USS Arizona, which he recalled at the time brought him to tears.
“In 1941 it was men like Vince who were called to protect our country and so the Greatest Generation was born,” Decker said. “I can tell you that I remember that I openly wept when I stood on the museum deck of the USS Arizona after reading all the names on the wall and looking at the Arizona below us knowing how much those men and their families sacrificed for us. It was certainly a humbling experience.”
Morejon called for such unity and resolve in continuing to protect America’s future.
“May we leave here equally resolved in our determination to serve our nation and fellow man as selflessly as they did.”