WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – On the 80th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, nowhere is the observance more heartfelt than in the city of Westfield.
Veterans groups gathered at the Great River Bridge Tuesday morning to remember Pearl Harbor and the Westfield residents among the 2,400 Americans killed during the sneak attack.
“It touched our city personally. Westfield’s sons were in that battle, in that fight. We lost them,” said Mayor Don Humason.
Stephen Wichrowski of Longmeadow, who lost a family member at Pearl Harbor, continued the tradition of dropping a ceremonial wreath into the Westfield River, “Well, from one family member to the next, I am basically the last one left.”
Among the sparse crowd of onlookers, Amara Cote of Westfield proudly clutched the stars and stripes, promising to keep this memorial observance into the future, “My father, his brother, I came here to support him. How does it make you feel? Proud, it makes me feel very proud.”
“It’s an honor to do the ceremony in Westfield, I retired from active service not only to recognize Pearl Harbor Day, Veterans Day, Memorial Day which is not recognized by other communities,” said Eric Volk, Vice Commander of the American Legion Post 124.
Less remembered by each passing generation elsewhere, the loss of American lives at Pearl Harbor is vividly recalled and observed at Great River Bridge every year.