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Gridley Herald - Gridley, CA
  • Pearl Harbor survivors gather at monument for possibly last time

  • For the first time in Gridley, two Pearl Harbor observances were held to honor those who died in the attack at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, at 9:48 a.m.
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  • For the first time in Gridley, two Pearl Harbor observances were held to honor those who died in the attack at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, at 9:48 a.m.
    Since 1991, the Feather River Chapter of Pearl Harbor Survivors have gathered at the Butte County Fairgrounds to pay tribute to those who died and those who were wounded during the infamous day at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
        A total of 2,400 Americans were killed and more than 1,100 were wounded when America's naval base was attacked by the Japanese.
        Four United States Navy battleships were sunk and four more damaged.
        Three survivors have visited the special monument at the Butte County Fairgrounds the past 21 years to partake in ceremonies where dignitaries have gathered for years to pay their respects.
        Art Rodda of Sutter has made the trip each year and helped to make sure that the American flag flies at half-mast until sunset in honor of his comrades who were killed.
        The other two survivors attending, Arthur Wells and Fred Smith, both of Chico have also attended each year since 1991 but all three say this will be the last year for their chapter as age is now a factor.
        Wells stated they may attend if invited, but their group is disbanding as they are all at the 90-year-old mark.
        U.S. Navy veteran Owen Stiles who served in Vietnam, read a Proclamation representing the City of Gridley as a Council member.
        Gridley-Biggs Police Chief Gary Keeler gave the invocation.
        Gridley's Pearl Harbor survivors Homer Lane and Vere Gardner were present at the ceremony held at the same time at the Gridley-Biggs Cemetery Military Court of Honor, hosted by the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and VFW Ladies Auxiliary.
        The two-bell ceremony came complete with a rifle salute by the VFW and American Legion to honor departed shipmates following a moment of silence at 9:48 a.m., when the attack took place December 7, 1941.
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