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Old Pocatello tradition returns to commemorate 80th anniversary of Pearl Harbor


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A historic photo of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941. Watch FDR’s address to the nation the following day in the video above. | File photo

POCATELLO – Tuesday marks 80 years since the attack on Pearl Harbor, an event that propelled the country into World War II. The Bannock County Veterans Services are reviving an old Pocatello tradition to commemorate the occasion.

The tradition involves gathering at the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge in Pocatello to remember the 2,403 people killed in the 1941 attack. In previous years, Organizer Christopher Harame, his wife, Cusine Zaccardi, along with a small group would wear Hawaiian shirts as they tossed flower petals into the river, giving thanks to those who served.

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Harame, who passed away in 2013, started this event many years ago. He was aboard the U.S.S. Detroit during the Pearl Harbor attack and witnessed what happened that day.

The words of then U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt recounting what happened on America’s airwaves the following day as he officially declared a state of war between the U.S. and Japan is now an iconic moment in the nation’s history.

“Yesterday, December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy, the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the empire of Japan,” FDR said to Congress. “No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.”

Watch his entire speech in the video above.

Harame’s commemoration ceremony faded away after he died, but members of the community are bringing it back this year.

Those who would like to attend are invited to gather at the bridge at 11 a.m. on West Fremont Street. Rose petals will be scattered into the river to honor those who died.

Lunch will be provided by Littlebird’s Grill immediately following, thanks to donations from the Marine Corps League, AMVETS Post 1, AMVETS Bengal Post 1901, AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary Post 1 and members of the community.

pearl harbor remembrance flyer
Emma Iannacone