ST. GEORGE — To recognize those who died in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the American Legion will host a mostly silent wreath-laying ceremony at St. George’s Tonaquint Cemetery on Thursday at 10:48 a.m. — the exact time of the attack 82 years ago.

The public is invited to attend and witness the ceremony.

“In the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, the resolve of Americans was tested — not only in the highest ranks for the military and government, but all the way down to the everyday citizen,” Marti Bigbie, Area 4 Commander of the American Legion, said in a news release issued by the city of St. George. “We will gather to honor those who lost their lives that day, and to recall their courage and sacrifice.”

Described by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as, “a date which will live in infamy,” Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, plunged America into World War II. The losses were devastating. It was a tragedy that left 2,403 killed and 1,178 wounded, along with four American battleships sunk and nearly 350 aircraft damaged or destroyed.

Those who fought back demonstrated the resolve and character that would come to embody U.S. service members of the Greatest Generation. Fifteen Medals of Honor were awarded, as well as 51 Navy Crosses and 53 Silver Stars.

This 2019 file photo shows people gathered for a Pearl Harbor ceremonial event, St. George, Utah, Dec. 7, 2019 | Photo courtesy of city of St. George, St. George News

For the United States, World War II had begun. The fate of the free world hung in the balance during what Roosevelt called “the mighty endeavor.”

The war touched every American. Towns throughout the United States sent their young men to battle worldwide to fight a tenacious enemy.

Americans faced combat in the fetid jungles of Guadalcanal and New Guinea, the mud and mountains of Italy, the palm-tree-laden nightmare of Tarawa, the beaches of Normandy and sulfuric sands of Iwo Jima. Allied forces actively fought for 44 months before securing the unconditional surrenders of Axis forces Italy, Germany and Japan.

While there are no known Pearl Harbor survivors living in St. George, veterans from several different branches of military service from throughout the community will participate in a wreath-laying ceremony.

About the American Legion

The American Legion was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. It is the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization, committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow service members and veterans.