Yorktown marks 71 years since Pearl Harbor attack

By Stefanie

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) -- "December 7th, 1941, a date which will live in infamy. The United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces by the empire of Japan."

Those were the famous words of President Franklin Roosevelt after the historic Pearl Harbor attack.

This year marks the 71st anniversary of the attack and Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant is making sure the date lives on with a special Pearl Harbor remembrance ceremony.

"The goal is to remind people of the sacrifice of these veterans and to let those veterans now that we have not forgotten," said Event Coordinator for Patriots Point Bobby Kotlowski.

On Dec. 7, 1941, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor came as a shock to the American people and resulted in the American entry into World War II both in the Pacific and European theaters.

Records show that 2,403 people were killed in the Pearl Harbor attack.

"I think it stands out because it was a point in our history where for a while there, everyone thought they could keep the peace in the world. At the time, the Japanese were actually discussing peace negations with us from keeping us from going into the war, while in the fact they were planning to attack us," said Kotlowski, who was stationed at Pearl Harbor from 1971 to 1975.

At 11 a.m. Friday, Patriots Point will honor the anniversary with a ceremony featuring guest speakers and a wreath laying. Patriots Point is hosting the ceremony with the local VFW chapter. Two Pearl Harbor survivors are scheduled to attend the event.

"It made me sad because I remember all those soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines that were killed that day, but it also made me think about how this country became so strong afterwards and became the leader of democracy in the world," Kotlowski said.

The Pearl Harbor remembrance ceremony is taking place on board the U.S.S. Yorktown from 11 a.m. until noon on Friday.

The public is invited to attend the ceremony free of charge. Parking will cost $5.