URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — Nearly 80 years ago this week, over 2,000 Americans lost their lives in the attack on Pearl Harbor. Sunday, people in Urbana honored them.
The American Legion Post 559 and Lincoln’s Challenge Academy held their annual Pearl Harbor Day Remembrance ceremony at Lincoln Square Mall.
This was their 11th year in a row reflecting on the events that happened December 7th, 1941.
They recited parts of President Roosevelt’s famous “Day of Infamy” speech and gave special military salutes.
Although Pearl harbor happened long ago, they say they will never stop honoring this day for two important reasons:
“Because all the men and women that passed away and gave their lives, we owe them everything…and it’s the least I can do to honor them,” says Patriarch Militance Retired Major General Greg Worrell.
“So we want to continue that, and then also encourage others to possibly serve and continue to serve to protect our nation,” adds former American Legion District Commander Robbie Walker.
They ended the ceremony with a trumpeter playing “Taps” to honor those that died .
One person in particular was also remembered on Sunday.
They said private Leo Surrells was the first from Champaign County reported as a casualty. He graduated from Champaign high school in 1940 — just 11 months before Pearl Harbor.
The American Legion Post 559 and Lincoln’s Challenge Academy welcome anyone wanting to join their ceremony every year.