Two Blount youths go to Hawaii for Pearl Harbor Day
By Joel Davis | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Two of Blount County’s young men will honor the survivors of the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor today during the 71st anniversary Pearl Harbor Day Commemoration in Hawaii.
Brandon Magee, a Maryville resident, who is a senior at Knoxville Catholic High School, and Jonathon Hicks, a senior at Alcoa High School, are two of 68 members of Young Marines, who traveled to Hawaii for today’s ceremonies.
Magee is a member of the Lt. Alexander Bonneyman Unit of the Young Marines. Hicks is a member of the North Knoxville Unit.
The Young Marines is a national non-profit 501c(3) youth education and service program for boys and girls, age 8 through the completion of high school. The Young Marines promotes the mental, moral and physical development of its members.
“Undoubtedly, the Young Marines will meet some of the survivors of that historic event of 71 years ago,” said Michael Kessler, national executive director of the Young Marines. “Those veterans are, in every sense of the words, living history, and each has a story to tell. It is an honor to attend an event that commemorates a significant turning point in our nation’s history.”
On Thursday, Young Marines performed a wreath-laying ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. Today, they will lead the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade in Honolulu. They will carry the banners of the 12 capital ships that were attacked.
Young Marine units raised funds at their local level to supplement the costs of traveling to Hawaii to attend the commemoration ceremonies. “When the opportunity to travel to Hawaii arose, the members of the Young Marines started moving mountains in their fundraising efforts,” Kessler said. “The result is a testament to the dedication of these young people.”
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and state Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder proclaimed today as Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.
On Dec. 7, 1941 more than 3,500 Americans serving in the United States military stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, were killed or wounded in an unprovoked attack by the Air and Naval forces serving Japan.