Veterans Day Ceremony Includes Rededication Of Pearl Harbor Marker
“Okay, on the count of three we’re going to unveil the 700-pound tablet….” says Paul Farace. He's curator for the USS Cod Submarine Memorial, and emceed the event.
A small group of veterans and city officials each grabbed a red, white, and blue ribbon, all attached to a sheet…and waited for Farace to give the signal…..
Roughly 100 people watched as the gleaming surface of the tablet was revealed.
“It’s a 700 pound black granite tablet that honors the men and women who died in the attack on Pearl Harbor December 7th, 1941," explains Faraci. "Of course, the submarine Cod is part of our nation’s response to that day of infamy. And the tablet is here to remind people that freedom isn’t free.”
Among those speaking at the ceremony was 91-year-old Jack Fickel…a survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor by Japanese warplanes.
“When that first bomb hit, everybody’s looking out there, “What was going on?” recalls Fickel, as some in the audience chuckle. "Somebody else said, “Look at the plane with the big red ball on it. That’s Japanese.”
The event also saw the submarine fire off five shots from its deck gun to commemorate the five branches of the U.S. Military.
John Cimperman, President of the Early Settlers Association who provided the tablet, says it’s important to honor veterans.
“People must go to work, and come home and take care of other matters. But someone has to be there to remind them that they could not be going on their “daily duties” were it not for the men and women who serve their nation.”
The tablet was originally dedicated in 2003, when it was installed at the since-demolished U.S. Naval Reserve Training center in Cleveland.