Mount Diablo beacon lighting to honor Pearl Harbor attack fallen, survivors

54th year that ‘Eye of Mount Diablo’ has been lit

In a commemorative ceremony on Thursday, the beacon on Mount Diablo will be lit by survivors of Pearl Harbor, as a way to pay tribute to those who experienced the Dec. 7, 1941 attack.

The 54th annual lighting is set to take place at 5 p.m. and is co-sponsored by Save Mount Diablo, the Sons & Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors Association and California State Parks.

“The beacon lighting is a tribute to those individuals that lost their lives at Pearl Harbor,” said Earl “Chuck” Kohler, one of the few remaining survivors in Contra Costa County.

The mountain’s beacon -- also known as the “Eye of Mount Diablo” -- was originally installed and illuminated in 1928 as an aid to trans-continental aviation.

After the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941, the light was extinguished as part of the West Coast Blackout, out of the concern that the Beacon could support an attack on California.

Twenty-three years later, Fleet Adm. Chester Nimitz, commander in chief of Pacific Forces during World War II, relit the beacon and proposed it be illuminated every Dec. 7 in commemoration of those who served and sacrificed.

Every year since, Pearl Harbor veterans and their families have gathered at the beacon, to see it lit at sunset and shine all night long.

Before the lighting, a ceremony will be held in the Oak Room of the Library Building at the California State East Bay Concord campus, 4700 Ygnacio Valley Road. A reception will begin at 3 p.m. and the ceremony at 3:45 p.m.

For more information, check Save Mount Diablo’s event website.


6 people like this
Posted by JRM
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Dec 7, 2017 at 3:45 pm

This is a wonderful tradition. When I moved to Danville 31 years ago I saw the beacon for the first time and I have looked forward to it's impressive illumination every year since. My thanks and respectful gratitude to those that fought in World War II, my Father and Father-In-Law among those.
I wish it could be lit up more frequently. We have a clear night tonight to see it!

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