The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) hosted a Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day ceremony at the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Hall—Chapter #15, 25 Club Area (Lake Springfield), in Springfield. The ceremony honored all Pearl Harbor survivors and paid tribute to the more than 2,400 Americans who lost their lives.
“Today we come together to honor the brave men and women who gave their all during the attack in Pearl Harbor,” said IDVA Director Erica Jeffries. “The service members who fought relentlessly on December 7, 1941 are true heroes.”
Governor Bruce Rauner also proclaimed December 7, 2016, as Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day in Illinois and ordered all persons or entities governed by the Illinois Flag Display Act to fly their flags at half-staff from sunrise until sunset in memory of all the heroes who died in the attack on Pearl Harbor, and in tribute to all the men and women whose sacrifices made the world safer for liberty and freedom.
Rear Admiral (Retired) Nathan E. Jones offered special remarks at the solemn ceremony. Rear Adm. Jones was born in Springfield, Ill. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 1970. He then enlisted in the Naval Reserve at age 21 as a Seaman Recruit. Following six years of reserve enlisted service as a Cryptologic Technician Second Class Petty Officer including a two-year tour at Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, he was commissioned an Ensign Public Affairs Officer in August 1976.
The Ceremony included a special wreath laying in the waters of Lake Springfield by the Interveteran Burial Detail Honor Guard while Taps was being played. Amazing Grace was played on the Bagpipe by Bill Rogers of the St. Andrew Society. Lunch for all was provided by the WWII Illinois Veterans Memorial committee.