Story and Photos by: LTC (R) Manuel Pulido
December 7, 2023, marked the 82nd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. This year’s commemoration ceremony hosted by the National Park Service, Pacific Historic Parks – USS Arizona, and the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command had the theme “Legacy of Hope.” The theme highlights our youth and the promise that future generations will always honor the sacrifices of our veterans.
McKinley High School’s JROTC, the oldest public school JROTC in Hawaii formed in 1921, was invited to participate because many of its alumni were veterans of World War II (WWII) and the highly decorated 100th Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team.
McKinley’s JROTC Cadets both participated in and observed the ceremony. Once completed, the Tiger Battalion Cadets met with Pearl Harbor survivors, WWII veterans, and Rosie the Riveters (women who participated in the Home Front effort). The Cadets also visited the USS Arizona Memorial with the Pearl Harbor survivors and Rosie the Riveters to pay respects to the fallen heroes.
The returning Pearl Harbor survivors who attended included: Harry Chandler (USN), Ken Stevens (USN), Herb Elfring (USA), Ira Schab (USN), and Sterling Cale (USN). Our Cadets learned tremendously from participating in the ceremony and experienced firsthand the importance of honoring those who served. Overall, it was a memorable event that connected the past and future generations of veterans.