Brooklyn’s 41st district remembers Pearl Harbor
Veterans of the 41st city council district and beyond were honored by Councilmember Darlene Mealy at the sixth annual Intergenerational Pearl Harbor Day Memorial Tuesday afternoon at the Christopher Blenman Senior Center. Features of the program included the FDNY Emerald Society Pipes and Drums, vocalists from the arts group Purelements, the New York Army Color Guard, Kipp Amp Charter School Marching Band, the P.S 189 Choir, and a recitation of essays and delivery of holiday cards by New Heights Middle School.
Veterans from the Department of Veteran Affairs, Black Vets for Social Justice, Veterans Action Group Buffalo Soldiers Of America Inc. and the CEO and the Commanding Officer of the N.Y. chapter of the National Association of Black Veterans Association (NABVETS Inc.) were on hand. Special veteran guest speakers reflected on national service even in the face of inequalities and a continuing struggle for racial justice.
“America’s sons and daughters have always answered the call to duty, however skeptical or cynical the times have made them feel,” said Annie Suggs, a veteran who spoke at the event. “America is the country it is today because of their willingness to fight for the cause of freedom.”
At Tuesday’s event, the district’s local Pearl Harbor veteran, the Rev. James E. Blakely, was honored with a birthday cake. Blakely was on board the U.S.S. St. Louis at the time of the attack and heard the announcement to “man your battle stations; this is NOT a drill.”
“It feels wonderful that people remember and commemorate this anniversary,” said Blakely, who turns 95 in January. “I’m glad people remember what we fought for.”
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