Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day in Seaside - Seaside Oregon

Seaside Stories

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day in Seaside

December 8, 2010 | by Shanda Bonn

Seaside has many treasures “hidden” before our very eyes, ones we may take for granted because we don’t fully grasp their importance.  One such gem is the First Avenue Bridge, also known as the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge, with three memorial plaques I had failed to notice until today.

Seaside’s bridge is one of only a handful of such memorials and is certainly apt for the area, given the Oregon Coast’s unhappy distinction of being one of the few places on the US Mainland to be attacked following Pearl Harbor. A Japanese submarine shelled Fort Stevens in April of 1942 and a Japanese plane bombed the southern coast in September of the same year. Thankfully, damage was minimal and a feared full-scale invasion never materialized.

This morning I attended the Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Ceremony at the Seaside Convention Center. In an effort to establish countywide recognition of this infamous day, several groups came together to mark the occasion. Under the leadership of Seaside Resident and Pearl Harbor survivor, Bill Thomas, with the cooperation of the City of Seaside, the American Legion coordinated the event and was joined by members of the Oregon National Guard, US Coast Guard, VFW and several other active and retired military men and women. Also on hand were Representative Deborah Boone and a representative from Senator Jeff Merkley’s office. The rest of us civilians were there to pay tribute to family and friends who have served our nation whether at Pearl Harbor or elsewhere during World War II or even in other conflicts including Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Remembrance Day Ceremony opened with Thomas announcing this would be his last year coordinating the event and he was given a rousing hand for his efforts over the years to ensure that the events of December 7, 1941 not be forgotten.

Guest speaker Retired Admiral Ed Nelson of the US Coast Guard outlined the events that led up to the attack helping me to better comprehend the significance of that day. I also appreciated his childhood recollections of starting each school day with a patriotic song, not, he said, to glorify war but to remember and show respect. Why remember? “Because sacrifice without remembrance is meaningless.”

While we listened to comments by Admiral Nelson and other guests, a slideshow played in the background showing pictures of Bill Thomas’ trip back to Pearl Harbor last December. Eventually, we made our way to the bridge for the presentation of the wreath. Thomas tossed a fresh floral wreath into the river below as a US Coast Guard helicopter flew overhead. The ceremony concluded with a Three Bell Salute and the playing of Taps. It was solemn but not sad. The crowd dispersed with hugs and handshakes, shoulders erect and heads held high, a mixture of pride and humility.

After the ceremony, I spoke with Seaside Mayor Don Larson, a retired Army Reservist. He expressed regret that Pearl Harbor was buried on page 3 of one of the more prominent newspapers and eagerly voiced his desire that the heroes of Pearl Harbor be remembered, thus the City’s Proclamation that December 7th is officially Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

Thank you, Bill Thomas, and all of the participants, for being such an important part of the treasure of the North Coast.

Leave a Reply

and so much more!

SOLV Beach Clean Up

When I look at our beaches I don’t see garbage. I see a breathtaking coastline, and I think how lucky we are to have such pristine beauty right in our own backyard. I believe most beachgoers, both locals and tourists, are conscientious about disposing their refuse properly after a day playing on the beach. So why do we have the SOLV beach cleanup twice a year?

Learn More
How to Build a Beach Bonfire

It’s a longstanding Seaside tradition: listening to a crackling fire in concert with the crashing of the ocean waves. Bonfires o...

Learn More
Guide to Spring Events in Seaside

If you think Seaside is simply a summertime destination, get ready to adjust your mindset! Seaside offers something for all visito...

Learn More
Seeing Seaside on a Surrey

Cruising around Seaside on a Surrey can be great exercise and a scenic journey

Learn More
From Arcade to Aquarium: 8 Things To Do When It’s Raining In Seaside

When it rains, you’ll have plenty to do in Seaside, Oregon. Photo: Rupert Britton Our charming oceanfront town is, after all, in...

Learn More
The Iron Horse Comes to Town

A look at the train that connected Seaside to Portland in 1898

Learn More
Antiquing in Seaside

Antique shopping in Seaside, Oregon

Learn More
Seaside Inside for Kids

Seaside is known for a variety of outdoor activities to enjoy during most of the year and it’s not uncommon to have a 60-plu...

Learn More
Customer Service and the Bottom Line

As we prepare for a new year and our annual Customer Service Awards Program, we visit the question that most business owners are f...

Learn More
Convention Center Adds Outdoor Mural

Seaside Oregon Civic & Convention Center adds outdoor mural

Learn More
The Columbia River Maritime Museum: On the Water’s Edge

A visit to the Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria.

Learn More
Clamming and Crabbing Closures in 2015

With all of the recent closures in recreational clamming and commercial crabbing, it’s difficult to know what to share with visi...

Learn More
Making Seaside Beautiful: Gardens

Seeking help on starting a garden plot sent me in search of Pam Fleming, whose reputation as a resource on Seaside’s Gardens was a bit understated as I was to discover. I met her at the Grand Opening of Back Alley Gardens (find by walking through Natural Nook Florists 734 Broadway).

Learn More
Rebranding Seaside Gives us new Opportunity for Promoting Seaside

How do you describe Seaside to your friends, neighbors and relatives? Better yet, how would you, if asked? You may have an answer ...

Learn More
A Beach Bicycle Built for Two

Beach Bike Rentals in Seaside, Oregon

Learn More
View from the Pacific Pier

The view circa 1906 of Seaside's old Pacific Pier

Learn More
Views of Tillamook Rock Lighthouse are well within your reach thanks to the adventure of the Tillamook Head Trail just south of Seaside.
How to Get Epic Tillamook Rock Lighthouse Views

Your quest to see Tillamook Rock begins on the south side of Seaside at the end of Sunset Boulevard.

Learn More
Gone Fishin’

You know you’re in Seaside when . . . this sentence can be completed in numerous ways. Today I’ll finish it with: . . . you see a guy walking down the road in tall rubber boots, fishing pole in one hand, long silvery fish dangling from the other.

Learn More