Environmental conservation group Save Mount Diablo is set to hold its annual Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Mount Diablo Beacon Lighting Ceremony on Monday (Dec. 7).
Held every year in remembrance of the 2,403 United States service members and civilians killed during Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, the East Bay ceremony sees the "Eye of Diablo” beacon -- located atop Mount Diablo -- illuminated for the entire region to view.
“This year it is especially important that we come together as a nation to honor National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day and those who served," Save Mount Diablo’s Executive Director Ted Clement said of the event. "Reflecting on that day and the aftermath reminds us of the strength of our nation when we come together even amidst great adversity. Our Dec. 7 virtual event will enable more people to come together on this important day.”
This year will also include comments by three local survivors of the attack President Franklin D. Roosevelt referred to as "a day of infamy," to share their experiences about the fateful day that brought the United States into World War II.
“When that Beacon light is turned on, that’s a tribute to those individuals who lost their lives at Pearl Harbor,” said Pearl Harbor survivor Earl “Chuck” Kohler from Concord.
While in years past residents have been traditionally invited to attend the ceremony in-person, due to the coronavirus pandemic this year's remembrance event will be held virtually, with speakers addresses being recorded in a 45-minute video.
In addition to Save Mount Diablo, sponsors of the yearly event include California State Parks, Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors Chapter 5, and California State University, East Bay.
“As we reflect on this historic event, it is not only critical to remember the many lives that were lost, but also to remember the selfless acts undertaken by many on this fateful day. This is the spirit of our country in critical times. It is an honor to represent California State Parks on this momentous occasion, and I hope we can all remember to radiate kindness toward one another, as we remember those who gave all on this day,” said Eddie Guaracha, California State Parks Diablo Range District Superintendent.
“As we pass through difficult, often divisive times ourselves, the sacrifices borne by the American people following that fateful morning some 79 years ago should give us all an enormous sense of pride, and most importantly, hope for the future. Cal State East Bay is honored to once again participate in this annual act of remembrance,” added Robert Phelps, Director of the California State University - East Bay (Concord Campus).
Save Mount Diablo officials also highlighted that the U.S. Postal Service is issuing commemorative special pictorial postmarks for National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, which can be obtained online.
Those interested in witnessing this year’s virtual Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Ceremony can find the video link on Save Mount Diablo’s home page at 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 7 at www.savemountdiablo.org.