Gov. Matt Bevin has directed that flags at all state office buildings be lowered to half-staff on Saturday in observance of National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.
This is in memory and honor of the more than 2,400 Americans who died in the surprise attack on the U.S. Fleet’s Pearl Harbor base in the early morning hours of Dec. 7, 1941. President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared Dec. 7, 1941 “a date which will live in infamy” and signed the Declaration of War against Japan the following day, Dec. 8, 78 years ago.
Of the 1,177 sailors and marines who died on the USS Arizona, at least 19 were Kentuckians:
Fireman First Class Purdy Renaker Bedford
Fireman Third Class Walter Karr Bolling
Fire Controlman Third Class Jack C. Buckley
Seaman First Class William Milford Cox
Gunner’s Mate Second Class Cecil Thomas Crowe
Private James Berkley Dawson
Coxswain Wand B. Doyle
Electrician’s Mate Third Class William Walker Ford
Seaman First Class Elmo Howard
Ensign Robert Lawrence Leopold
Seaman Second Class Leroy Manning
Mess Attendant Second Class Tommy Lee Moss
Fireman First Class Mervin Eugene Osborne
Storekeeper Third Class Edwin Lester Puckett
Storekeeper Third Class Clay Cooper Rector
Boatswain’s Mate First Class Chester Clay Rose
Gunner’s Mate Third Class Lambert Ray Tapp
Fireman First Class Lenvil Leo Watkins
Gunner’s Mate Third Class William Byron Whitt
At one time, more than 100 Pearl Harbor survivors lived in Kentucky. By the attack’s 70th anniversary in 2011, their numbers had dwindled to 18.
All individuals, businesses, organizations, and government agencies are encouraged to join in this tribute.