Braintree will be one of the only communities in the South Shore to host a Peal Harbor memorial this year, and organizers are expecting a crowd.
According to Veterans Service Officer Richard Walsh, the town is anticipating 75-100 people to come to the memorial on Friday to recognize the 71st anniversary of the Peal Harbor attacks.
“It’s very rare [for a community to recognize it],” Walsh said. “I know Quincy has a wreath laying up at the cemetery…there is a monument up there. But no one has an official remembrance where town officials take part. But we try to make it an important veterans event, to never forget.”
This year, the event will be bookended with musical selections sung by Braintree High School’s Concert Choir, with an invocation by Chaplain Russell DuPuis.
Mayor Joseph Sullivan will make remarks alongside Walsh and guest speaker Major Fred Myerson, a Veterans Career Specialist at Quincy Career Center and a United States Marine Corp. Vietnam Veteran.
And while the year isn’t as significant as 2011’s, Walsh is still expecting a good turnout.
“Last year it was the 70th anniversary, and it was probably a bit more attention was paid to it because of the significance with the number of years. But I know a couple representatives will be there [this year], and most of the town council and all the veterans organizations will be represented,” Walsh said.
Though last year’s celebrations were attended by Pearl Harbor survivor James Fitzpatrick, the 91-year-old has since passed away.
While it isn’t likely that there will be any surviving members of the attacks present at Braintree’s ceremony, Walsh said the day is important to all veterans.
“It’s actually one of the most significant dates in history,” Walsh said. “It’s like 9-11 to this generation. That day changed the way the US was perceived in the world…It led us to become the world power we were. Our country came together, supported our military and backed up our leaders…we fought for democracy.”
Walsh said he personally feels very strongly about the historic date, and said that the mayor and most people involved in veterans’ issues feels similarly.
“I think to the WWII era, and the Korean War veterans, that generation of people, as they remember pearl harbor they know exactly what it means,” he said.
The service will take place at 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 7, at Braintree Town Hall. Anyone is encouraged to attend.
Elsewhere in the South Shore, there will be a ceremony at the US Navy Shipyard at 12 p.m. on Friday.