'Day of infamy' remembered in Roseville

By: Megan Wood The Press Tribune
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Despite a surprise dusting of snow and frosty temperatures, a handful of Roseville residents gathered Monday morning to remember a day that will “live in infamy.” Held at the WWII monument on Vernon Street in Roseville, the ceremony began with a reenactment of the attacks on Pearl Harbor 67 years ago. Hawaiian music was interrupted by two rifle shots fired into the air signifying the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and reenacted radio newsflashes announced the attacks to the crowd. Sergeant Don Male took the podium to recite Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s famous Dec. 8 congressional address describing the previous day as “a date, which will live in infamy.” Roseville Elks member Dick Law said he remembered calls of “extra, extra, read all about it,” interrupting his family’s Sunday breakfast. “My brother had a paper route that covered our neighborhood and we jumped up to see who was taking over his route,” Law said. When the family rushed outside, they saw dozens of children with armfuls of newspapers hot off the press detailing the attacks earlier that morning on Pearl Harbor. “Of course we were shocked, I mean, who would have expected it,” Law said. Roseville’s Emblem Club held a special ceremony for prisoners of war and those servicemen who are missing in action for all wars. The ceremony included a table with place settings for servicemen in the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Coast Guard and captured civilians. Emblem Club member Barbara Ferreira led the ceremony and shared the symbolism behind the items on the table like salt to represent loved ones’ tears and a candle representing the frailty of a soldier at war. A black ribbon tied around the candle represented the ultimate sacrifice of some servicemen answering the nation’s call to arms. The surprise attacks on Pearl Harbor lasted two hours and in that time, killed 2,390 people and sunk or heavily damaged 19 U.S. ships. “It is indeed a day to remember,” said Captain Roger Linn. Linn’s message of remembrance was not lost on some of the attendees who clearly remember that fateful morning despite being very young. “I was visiting my sister and brother-in-law when we heard the Japanese had attacked,” said United States Air Force Veteran and District 17 Color guardsman Jim Berg, who was 9 at the time of the attacks. “I didn’t know what the Japanese were and I hadn’t heard of Pearl Harbor but I knew it was big news.” Berg said he waited late into the evening to tell his parents, who at the time owned and operated a restaurant. “When I told my dad he didn’t believe me,” Berg said. “I kept telling him America’s under attack but he didn’t believe me. It wasn’t something we had expected.” Councilman and former United States Army Sergeant Jim Gray said the day was an important lesson in vigilance and preparedness. “We have missed this lesson at least one other time and I am fearful of the potential for it to happen in the future if we are not vigilant and prepared,” Gray said. “It is important to remember the 7th of December and keep it in your minds and hearts.”