WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Wednesday is December 7th, which is when the Empire of Japan attacked the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Now 81 years ago.

An observance was held in Westfield Wednesday at the Kane/Wojtkiewicz Park which bears the name of the first Westfield resident killed during World War II, Frank P. Wojtkiewicz. The Westfield ceremony as always included the committing of their ceremonial wreath into the river.

“It’s the solemn remembrance, we bring honor to those who came before us, who stood tall, on that day,” said Chris Volk, Commander of the Westfield American Legion Post 124.

Navy veterans from Westfield make certain to attend this riverside ceremony each year to remember Pearl Harbor. Naval service is in the blood of Cindy Lacoste’s family.

“The sacrifices these families and these men gave, and the one’s coming home, I just don’t want these families to forget first generation of sailors and soldiers,” said Cindy Lacoste, Past Commander of the Westfield American Legion Post 124.

More than 2,400 people were killed when hundreds of Japanese aircraft attacked the U.S. Pacific Fleet, damaging eight battleships, and sinking four of them.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt called December 7, 1941 “a date which will live in infamy.” The attack brought the U.S. into World War II.