LANCASTER – On the 70th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack that propelled the United States into World War II, veterans and supporters gathered Wednesday for a remembrance ceremony at the William J. “Pete” Knight Veterans Home.
“More than 2,000 American citizens were killed and more than 1,000 were wounded…” said Master of Ceremonies, Norman Andrews. “Today, 70 years later, we are still remembering Pearl Harbor.”
The brief indoor ceremony included the Presentation of Colors by Lancaster High School Junior ROTC, the singing of the National Anthem by Khristy Moser, and a moment of silence to remember the fallen.
Guest speakers included Brittany Randall from Sen. Sharon Runner’s Office, Assemblyman Steve Knight and Veterans for Trees founder, Richard Sheffield.
Knight urged the crowd of about 50 to listen and learn from the experiences of our nation’s veterans.
“I always say, if you see a vet, you should thank him, but if you see a World War II vet, you should sit down and talk to him,” said Knight. “Because they’re going to give you a story that is better than fiction.”
Sheffield said the goal of Veterans for Trees was to plant one tree for every veteran that has served on the armed forces.
“Through the actual veteran memorial tree planting process, we believe we are honoring life and creating life at the same time,” said Sheffield.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, veterans and supporters headed outdoors to participate in the Grove of Honor.
Six flowering plum trees were planted, to represent each branch of service, including the National Guard.
“By planting this Grove of Honor, which is a living memorial, we are honoring the service and sacrifice of our veterans, which will hopefully be around for others to enjoy,” said Sheffield.
Retired Air Force Veterans, Lyle Talbot and David Bates, were two of the veterans who helped plant the Grove of Honor Wednesday.
“It’s my way of saying thank you to all the guys who served, the guys who went through Pearl Harbor,” said Talbot.
“I’m representing all my fellow veterans,” said Bates. “I know they all can’t be here, but in spirit they are.”