Home Virginia War Memorial and Navy League to host Pearl Harbor Day remembrance ceremony

Virginia War Memorial and Navy League to host Pearl Harbor Day remembrance ceremony

Crystal Graham
pearl harbor remembrance ceremony VWM submitted

The Virginia War Memorial and the Navy League of the United States, Richmond Council, will co-host the 82nd Commonwealth’s Pearl Harbor Day remembrance ceremony at 11 a.m. on Thursday.

The annual ceremony will be held outdoors in the Memorial’s Shrine of Memory – 20th Century. The public is invited to attend.

The keynote speaker will be Commander Dennis Bussey, U.S. Navy (retired), the son of career Navy Chief Petty Officer Joseph Bussey, who was aboard the battleship USS California in Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Commander Dennis Bussey is a civil engineering graduate of the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis. After graduation in 1969, he found himself leading a group of “Seabees” in Da Nang, South Vietnam. He and his wife, a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps, retired to Richmond after active duty, where he founded the James River Hikers and is a noted historian.

The 82nd Commonwealth’s Pearl Harbor Day remembrance ceremony will include the presentation of wreaths in memory of the Virginians who died on Sunday morning, Dec. 7, 1941, when the forces of Imperial Japan attacked U.S. military bases in Hawaii. More than 2,400 Americans died and more than 1,100 were wounded during the surprise attack. Of those killed, 41 were listed as native Virginians.

“The name of each Virginian who perished on that fateful day will be read and remembered with the tolling of the ship’s bell from the guided missile cruiser USS Virginia (CGN-38), which was decommissioned in 1994,” said Dr. Adam J. “Jay” Fielder, president of the Navy League’s Richmond Council, who will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the annual program. The bell is on permanent display at the Virginia War Memorial.

“We are pleased to continue the tradition of co-hosting the Commonwealth’s Pearl Harbor Day Remembrance ceremony with the Navy League here at the Virginia War Memorial for the 82 nd consecutive year,” said Virginia War Memorial Director Dr. Clay Mountcastle. “We hope many of our fellow citizens will join us to honor and remember our fellow Virginians and all Americans who died during the surprise attack which led to the United States entering World War II.”

The Virginians at War documentary film Pearl Harbor will be shown all day in the Reynolds Theater and visitors can visit the Medal of Honor Gallery, Veterans Art Gallery and other exhibits.

The Memorial will be open to the public from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on December 7. There is no admission charge to the Memorial or for this event.

The ceremony will be held at 621 South Belvidere St. in Richmond. Parking is available at the Memorial and visitors should arrive by 10:45 a.m. to attend the ceremony.

For more information about the remembrance ceremony, call the Virginia War Memorial at (804) 786-2060 or visit www.vawarmemorial.org

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.