Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Pearl Harbor happened 77 years ago. And there’s only one public ceremony in Hampton Roads

The Virginia War Museum's annual Pearl Harbor ceremony is on Dec. 7 at 4 p.m. (HNNDaily Photo/ Courtesy of the Virginia War Museum)
The Virginia War Museum’s annual Pearl Harbor ceremony is on Dec. 7 at 4 p.m. (WYDaily Photo/ Courtesy of the Virginia War Museum)

The Virginia War Museum is hosting its annual Pearl Harbor ceremony Friday.

“You never know how many people are gonna come until it actually happens,” Chris Garcia, the museum’s education coordinator said.

The ceremony starts at 4 p.m., the local time the Pearl Harbor attack ended, according to the museum’s news release.

This is the only ceremony in Hampton Roads open to the general public, Garcia said.

Last year, about 35 people attended the ceremony, and for the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor some 200 people showed up.

Garcia said a mixture of people attend, including kids, veterans, members from the American Legion Braxton-Perkins Post 25 and occasionally, local military and City Council members.

He expects about 35 -50 people this year.

Attendees watch an untitled documentary film about Virginia’s Pearl Harbor survivors, produced by the Virginia War Memorial Foundation in Richmond, and the ceremony concludes with a wreath laying ceremony at the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association Monument near the museum’s grounds.

There is usually a guest speaker but since the ceremony falls on a Friday during rush hour, the museum was unable to have one.

When asked if there were any challenges teaching kids or museum goers about Pearl Harbor, Garcia said it’s one of the easier topics to talk about since most people usually already know something about Pearl Harbor.

The 2018 Pearl Harbor Commemoration ceremony is at the Virginia War Museum, 9285 Warwick Blvd.

There are no special discounts to the museum, but after the ceremony attendees can explore the museum until 5 p.m. For more information, visit the museum’s website or call 757-247-8523.

John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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