Pausing to remember Pearl Harbor

  • Jeff Neipp, president of the local Rolling Thunder chapter, speaks at a Pearl Harbor Remembrance ceremony on Monday. STAFF PHOTO/MAX MARCUS

  • A flag was displayed in a Pearl Harbor Remembrance ceremony on Monday. STAFF PHOTO/MAX MARCUS

Staff Writer
Published: 12/7/2020 4:42:26 PM
Modified: 12/7/2020 4:42:22 PM

GILL — A yearly Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day ceremony at the French King Bridge was held Monday, but with limited attendance due to the pandemic.

Dec. 7 was the 79th anniversary of the Japanese attack on the Pearl Harbor naval base in Hawaii, where 100 military ships were being held. The attack destroyed or damaged 16 ships, killed 2,403 people and injured another 1,178.

The day after the attack — on Dec. 8, 1941 — the United States declared war on Japan, formally entering World War II. The war was not declared over until Sept. 2, 1945.

This was the 16th year that a memorial ceremony was held at the French King Bridge. It has been organized by Rolling Thunder, a national organization that advocates for prisoners of war, soldiers missing in action and all veterans. The local chapter of the organization is Vermont Chapter 1.

The ceremony was at noon, at the west side of the French King Bridge. Attendance was kept small, and everyone wore masks and kept their distance from one another. Many in the crowd wore symbols and patches from branches of the military.

“We’re gathered here to share a moment of history, and to remember our World War II veterans and the greatest generation that kept American strong during those years of war,” said Jeff Neipp, the president of the local Rolling Thunder chapter.

A flag was displayed at the ceremony, and a wreath was hung on the gazebo at the end of the bridge. Keeping it short to reduce social contact, the ceremony was only a few minutes long.

The wreath was left at the gazebo for others to visit.

Reach Max Marcus at or 413-930-4231.

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