December 8, 2021 (Cover Photo Credit:  Sandi Long)

Bannock County Clerk Jason Dixon welcomes guests (Photo Credit: Sandi Long)

Yesterday, thanks in large part to Melissa Hartman, Veterans Services Coordinator at Bannock County, local veterans and citizens of Pocatello, Chubbuck, and the surrounding area marked the 80th commemoration of Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day with a ceremony held at Pocatello’s Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge.  The ceremony honored the 2403 service members and civilians who lost their lives in the attack and celebrated the valor and legacy of those service members and civilians during, “A Day which will live in infamy.”

Hartman wanted to continue a tradition that was started years ago by a former Pocatello survivor of the Pearl Harbor attacks, Chief Builder retired US Navy Division of Seabee Christopher “Chris” Harame.  Harame was aboard the USS Detroit during the attacks on Pearl Harbor.

Pocatello Veterans Honor Guard preparing for three-volley salute (Photo Credit:  Sandi Long)

According to a press release about the event, “Every year on December 7, Harame and his wife, Cusine Zaccardi, accompanied by a small but growing group of people, would gather at the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge in Pocatello to honor the 2,403 service members and civilians killed in the attack.  Harame and his wife would wear Hawaiian shirts as they tossed flower petals into the river, giving thanks to those who served.  The tradition faded away after Harame passed in 2013.”

The tradition started by Harame has now been restarted.

At yesterday’s event, Bannock County Clerk Jason Dixon welcomed the guests and acted as the Master of Ceremonies.  Following the Posting of the Colors by the Pocatello Veterans Honor Guard and the Pledge of Allegiance led by the Vet Center’s Cody De Los Reyes, Charity Anderson, the daughter of a local veteran, sang the National Anthem.

Charity Anderson sings the National Anthem (Photo Credit: Sandi Long)

Todd Johnson, VSSC Director at Idaho State University, gave the opening prayer, after which Teresa Vialpando Gondola, President of the Bannock County Veterans Memorial Building, read, “History of the Rose Garden.”

The Pearl Harbor Address was given by Reverend Jim Jones, Blazing Grace Church.  During the address, rose petals were scattered in the Portneuf River by representatives of local veterans’ organizations.  Those scattering the rose petals were:

Jim Humble, American Legion Riders

Woody Reed, USS Idaho – Submarine Committee

Don Hulse, USS Idaho – Submarine Committee

Bud Smalley, Marine Corps League

Teresa Vialpando Gondola speaks at Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Commemoration (Photo Credit: Sandi Long)

Ann Smalley, Marine Corps League

Phil Clifton, AMVETS

Cody De Los Reyes, Vet Center

SSGT Justin Hillary, US Army Reserve

The program concluded with a three-volley salute performed by the Pocatello Veterans Honor Guard, and the playing of Taps.

A lunch, catered by Little Birds Grill (Robin Brown) and hosted by the local Marine Corps League, AMVETS Post 1, AMVETS Bengal Post 1901, and the AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary was provided for those in attendance following the ceremony.


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