Home Events Virtual Event Pearl Harbor Vets Honored In Virtual Mount Diablo Beacon-Lighting Ceremony December 7

Pearl Harbor Vets Honored In Virtual Mount Diablo Beacon-Lighting Ceremony December 7

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Mount Diablo’s Beacon lights the nighttime sky on December 7. Copyright Stephen Joseph; used with permission

This December 7th, National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, three local survivors of World War II’s “Day of Infamy” — the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 — will share their stories as part of a virtual ceremony filmed primarily atop Mount Diablo.

Sponsors of the yearly event, including local land trust Save Mount Diablo, California State Parks, Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors Chapter 5, and California State University – East Bay, are proud to present a virtual celebration this year beginning at 4:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on Monday, December 7th.

Pearl Harbor survivor Earl “Chuck” Kohler (standing) speaking at the Beacon Lighting Ceremony on December 7, 2018. Credit: Richard Usinger.

In a 45-minute video, three local East Bay survivors of the Pearl Harbor attack will recount their experiences that fateful day. Speakers will then pay tribute to those who sacrificed their lives and honor those yet living, “Lest We Forget” the tragedy that befell the country nearly six decades ago and the way we came together after the attack.

As a final tribute, the “Eye of Diablo” Beacon will be lit, to shine throughout the night as a tribute to those who served and as a reminder of our strength as a nation when we come together.

“When that Beacon light is turned on, that’s a tribute to those individuals who lost their lives at Pearl Harbor,” said Pearl Harbor survivor Earl “Chuck” Kohler from Concord.

Save Mount Diablo’s Executive Director Ted Clement noted, “This year it is especially important that we come together as a nation to honor National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day and those who served. Reflecting on that day and the aftermath reminds us of the strength of our nation when we come together even amidst great adversity. Our December 7th virtual event will enable more people to come together on this important day.”

Eddie Guaracha, California State Parks Diablo Range District Superintendent, stated, “As we reflect on this historic event, it is not only critical to remember the many lives that were lost, but also to remember the selfless acts undertaken by many on this fateful day. This is the spirit of our country in critical times. It is an honor to represent California State Parks on this momentous occasion, and I hope we can all remember to radiate kindness toward one another, as we remember those who gave all on this day.”

Three Pearl Harbor survivors and the crowd celebrating the Beacon lighting from the California State University–East Bay Concord Campus on December 7, 2018. Credit: Richard Usinger.

“As we pass through difficult, often divisive times ourselves, the sacrifices borne by the American people following that fateful morning some 79 years ago should give us all an enormous sense of pride, and most importantly, hope for the future. Cal State East Bay is honored to once again participate in this annual act of remembrance,” said Robert Phelps, Director of the California State University–East Bay (Concord Campus).

Those interested in witnessing this year’s virtual Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Ceremony can find the video link on Save Mount Diablo’s home page at 4:30 PM on December 7th at www.savemountdiablo.org.

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Background

Every year since 1964, the Pearl Harbor survivors and their families have memorialized Pearl Harbor Day by relighting the historic Beacon atop Mount Diablo’s summit.

The Beacon was originally lit by Charles Lindbergh in 1928 to assist in the early days of commercial aviation. The Beacon shone from the summit of Mount Diablo each night until December 8, 1941, the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

It was not relit until December 7, 1964, when Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz, Commander in Chief of Pacific Forces during World War II, attended a ceremony on Mount Diablo’s summit in commemoration of the survivors of Pearl Harbor. He suggested that the Beacon be lit every December 7th to honor those who served and sacrificed.

Save Mount Diablo, California State Parks, the Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors Chapter 5, California State University–East Bay (Concord Campus), and others organize the annual lighting ceremony of the Beacon every December 7th in honor of the National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

4 COMMENTS

  1. God bless em. Heroes. Victims. And some liked to talk and talk about it, and some didn’t. My dad stopped attending Pearl Harbor Survivors Association gatherings 50 years ago. Couldn’t stand the bravado, and I’m sure he wasn’t alone. This seems like a nice tradition. Go easy on the hurrah. This cowardly attack is to be remembered always not celebrated. Humbly submitted.

  2. Such a great group of men and woman who served in WW2 . Those serving today had good examples to emulate. Teach your children well the old song goes. Did you? Never too late to teach your children and grandchildren about the sacrifices those in our military and our veterans have made so that we can enjoy our freedom and quality of life in the United States of America,

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