Answering the call of duty

PEARL HARBOR SURVIVOR J.C. Alston of Temple salutes as a ceremonial wreath is placed before him during a special program Saturday afternoon at the National Museum of the Pacific War to commemorate the 72nd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. — Standard-Radio Post/Matt Ward

Braving icy and cold weather conditions, a large crowd of military veterans, locals and visitors attended a special program Saturday to commemorate the 72nd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Held inside the Memorial Courtyard at the National Museum of the Pacific War, Saturday’s program began at 12:25 CST (8:25 PST), the time the attack on Pearl Harbor began on Dec. 7, 1941.

Proud of the USA Bunch did a flyover, including the “Missing Man” formation in World War II aircraft to start the commemoration.

Guest speaker for the pro-gram was Maj. Gen. Alfred A. Valenzuela, U.S. Army (ret.).

“War is at the intersection of happenstance and hell,” Valenzuela said. “In 1941, when the attack occurred, we were called out and many answered the call of duty without even question.  The real heroes are the ones who answer that call.”

The program included the National Anthem and a patriotic medley of music from the St. Mary’s School Choir under the direction of Hannah McDonald...

...After the comments from Valenzuela, a commemorative wreath was placed by Pearl Harbor survivor J.C. Alston of Temple, who served on the USS California.

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