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Posts Tagged ‘Pearl Harbor Day in Ocean Grove- New Jersey’

10:50 am, and the crowd has already assembled on the Ocean Grove pier. December 7, 2015. Paul Goldfinger photographs. ©

10:50 am, and the crowd has already assembled on the Ocean Grove pier. December 7, 2015. Paul Goldfinger photographs. ©  Click to enlarge.

 

By Paul Goldfinger, MD.  Blogfinger.net    While we are on the subject of Pearl Harbor Day.

Every December 7, at 11:00 am, a group of service club members and citizens meet at the fishing pier to remember the atrocity which was Pearl Harbor. We lost 2,400 Americans on that day in 1941 “which shall live in infamy”  (FDR.)

The Ocean Grove event is quite unusual as most towns in USA do not have such ceremonies.  Each year the ritual is unchanged:  The Neptune High School color guard is present; military organizations are there; taps are played, a prayer is recited, and “God Bless America”  is sung.  A few words are spoken to remember the soldiers and sailors who died that day, and mention was made of those who made the supreme sacrifice for America in other conflicts.    A floral wreath is tossed into the ocean.

Taps sound and echo over the water. Blogfinger.net ©

Taps sound and echo over the water. Blogfinger.net ©

 

As the crowd began to disburse, a female member of the Neptune VFW  heads back and then enters the beach,  walking slowly to the waters edge, as if to offer her personal tribute.  Then she walks back onto the boards where Blogfinger gets to speak to her for a few minutes  (see below).

Neptune High School honor guard. Blogfinger .net ©

Neptune High School honor guard. Blogfinger .net ©

 

Neptune VFW. Blogfinger.net ©

Neptune VFW. Blogfinger.net ©

 

The color guard must be shown in color. Blogfinger.net ©

The color guard must be shown in color. Blogfinger.net ©

 

RUBY BRAFF AND DICK HYMAN  “America the Beautiful”

 

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Members of the Neptune High School NJROTC honor guard and NHS 11th grader during the singing of the Stat Spangled Banner

Members of the Neptune High School NJROTC honor guard and NHS 11th grader Jordan Vinson during the singing of the Star Spangled Banner.  Ocean Grove, NJ. Paul Goldfinger photographs @Blogfinger  ©  click left to enlarge.

Seventy two years ago, on a Sunday morning, December 7, 1941, America was attacked at Pearl Harbor, and 2,400 of our citizens died. The next day, President Franklin Roosevelt asked Congress to authorize a declaration of war. FDR said, “We will gain the inevitable triumph, so help us God.”

In Ocean Grove there is always a memorial ceremony on this date. I don’t know how long it has been going on, but it is a tradition. Not many towns have such an event, and this morning, at 11 am, a group gathered consisting mostly of members of the Ocean Grove Fishing Club and various veterans organization from the area. Also in attendance was an honor guard from the NJROTC at Neptune High School.  If they look familiar, you have probably seen them marching in Ocean Grove parades.

An 11th grader from NHS, Jordan Vinson, sang the Star Spangled Banner accapello, and it was lovely and heartfelt.  After the event I asked her if she ever sang the national anthem with an orchestra, and she “no,” but she gave me a big bright smile when I said, “Maybe some day you can stand in front of an orchestra in the Great Auditorium and sing it.”

It was cold up on the pier, but everyone stood and joined in the pledge of allegiance  and in the singing of  “God Bless America.” Joan Dawson, of the OG Fishing Club, spoke at the brief event which lasted about 30 minutes.  She mentioned the veterans and how we honor them at an event like this and then she proudly told of all the accomplished women now serving in the armed forces.

Firing volleys in honor of the dead

Firing volleys in honor of the dead.

Then a group of riflemen fired a volley in tribute to those who died that day.  The casings flew up into the air while the veterans present, wearing their VFW or American Legion hats, stood at attention and saluted.

At attention.

At attention during taps.

Robert Hodges, the Monmouth County Commander of the American Legion  and a lifetime member of the VFW told me that he commands over 20 chapters in the area.  I took his picture and he said, “I remember you.”

“That’s right”  I replied, “I put your photo on my blog, and I will do it again this time,” as I handed him one of our cards. The kids in the honor guard got Blogfinger cards and so did Jordan.

Commander Robert Hodges, Monmouth American Legion and VFW.

Commander Robert Hodges, Monmouth American Legion and VFW.

L to R: Joyce Dawson, Joyce Bradley, Pam James, and Joan Sunnerville. It was a day of J names.

L to R: Joyce Dawson, Joyce Bradley, Pam James, and Joan Sunnerville. It was a day for  J names.

Three patriotic  ladies from Neptune stood in front, side by side, to sing “God Bless America,” conducted by maestro Joyce Dawson. They sang with enthusiasm, and Joyce Bradley, the President of the  Neptune VFW Auxiliary asked  me to take their photo. I was going to anyhow.  Having been to this event before, I knew what to expect and I was not surprised at the pride and sincerity of those who were present.

If any members of the NHS honor guard send me an email, I can mail them a few  more photos  (Blogfinger@verizon.net)

RUBY BRAFF (cornet)  and DICK HYMAN (Wurlitzer theatre organ)     “America the Beautiful.”

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December 7, 2011. Pearl Harbor Day remembrance in OG.  Note damage to pier due to Irene.   PG Photo ©

December 7, 2011.  Pearl Harbor Day remembrance in Ocean Grove. Note damage to fishing pier due to Hurricane Irene. (8/11)   Paul Goldfinger photo ©  Left click for full view.

THEME FROM “BAND OF BROTHERS.”    The Band of H.M. Royal Marines:

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