Watertown Remembers Pearl Harbor Attack on 79th Anniversary

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Charlie Breitrose

Trumpeter Alan Mannarino plays Taps during the Pearl Harbor Remembrance Ceremony at the Watertown Square Dock.

Trumpeter Alan Mannarino plays Taps during the Pearl Harbor Remembrance Ceremony at the Watertown Square Dock.

The annual Pearl Harbor Remembrance ceremony in Watertown Square drew a couple dozen attendees on Monday morning, despite COVID-19 social distancing requirements. The ceremony marked the 79th anniversary of the attack that drew the United States into World War II.

The Town has a special link to Dec. 7, 1941, Veterans Services Officer Patrick George reminded those on hand, and tuning in on Facebook Live.

“Philip Darch was one of the men lost on the (USS) Arizona,” George said. “His name adorns the street in Watertown where veterans housing was constructed.”

George noted that next year will be a big anniversary for Pearl Harbor — the 80th — but fewer and fewer survivors are around to mark the milestones.

“During the 75th anniversary event survivors said it might be the last memorial that they would be able to celebrate,” George said. “I read that the last Pearl Harbor Survivor Association closed in 2019. We have to make sure to keep marking the anniversary and make sure they are never forgotten.”

The Watertown Fire Department Honor Guard, stand at attention as Veterans Services Officer Patrick George (left) and Navy ROTC member John Corbett watch a wreath float in the Charles River at the Pearl Harbor Remembrance Ceremony. The Watertown Police Honor Guard also took part in the ceremony.

During Monday’s remembrance, a wreath was placed in the Charles River by John Corbett, a Watertown resident who is a member of the ROTC at Villanova University. He acknowledged the veterans who came out for the event.

“Thanks to all the veterans. Thank you for your service. You really serves as role models for younger service members,” said Corbett who has been accepted into Naval Flight School to train to become an aviator. “You inspire us to want to be better service members and get past any obstacles.”

Watertown Veterans Service Officer Patrick George, left, introduces John Corbett, a Navy ROTC member, at the Pearl Harbor Remembrance Ceremony. Looking on are members of Watertown’s veterans organizations.

George noted that Corbett’s grandfather was the Watertown Veterans Officer in 1959 when the name of the street was changed to Philip Darch Road.

The Pearl Harbor Remembrance Ceremony was started by former Veterans Service Agent Bob Erickson.

3 thoughts on “Watertown Remembers Pearl Harbor Attack on 79th Anniversary

  1. Thanks to everyone for such a special Peal Harbor Remembrance Ceremony started by the one and only Bob Erickson, a first class person and former Veteran’s Agent always helping others.

    Respectfully
    Mary Russo

  2. Congratulations to young John Corbett whose
    family did many good things for Watertown,
    to Bob Ericson for starting this and to
    Veterans Service Agent Patrick George.

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