By Michael P. Walsh
Special to the Voice
The West Haven Veterans Council will hold an observance of Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day at 10:30 a.m. Friday at the William A. Soderman Memorial Flagpole on the Veterans Walk of Honor in Bradley Point Park.
All veterans are invited to participate in the annual ceremony, which will commemorate the 77th anniversary of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor.
The solemn service will include a presentation of the colors by the West Haven Police Color Guard and a flag-raising by the West Haven Fire Department Honor Guard, which is composed of members of the City of West Haven Fire Department Allingtown, the West Haven Fire Department and the West Shore Fire Department.
Lou Esposito, executive assistant to Mayor Nancy R. Rossi, will serve as the master of ceremonies.
It will feature remarks from Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9422 Cmdr. Freddy Jackson and Veterans Council President Dave Ricci.
Representing the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, Florence Stoeber, wife of the late Jack Stoeber, a Navy veteran of Pearl Harbor and Iwo Jima, will read the names of the 17 Connecticut servicemen who died Dec. 7, 1941, at the U.S. naval base in Oahu, Hawaii, as a member of the West Haven Fire Department tolls the department’s chrome bell each instant a name is called.
Stoeber, whose ashes were scattered in Pearl Harbor after he died Jan. 16, 2016, at age 97, was a .50-caliber machine-gunner aboard the destroyer tender USS Whitney in the Pacific theater of World War II.
Florence Stoeber’s 5-year-old grandson, Matthew McCann, will lead the Pledge of Allegiance.
The tribute will also include opening and closing prayers by Victor M. Borras of Gateway Christian Fellowship, a wreath-laying and a rendition of the national anthem by West Haven High School sophomore Nora E. Mullins, as well as taps played by former West Shore Fire Department Lt. Kevin McKeon.