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'Loyalty' in Remembering Pearl Harbor, Congressman Tells Braintree Crowd

3,500 Americans were killed or wounded, including 1,177 on the U.S.S. Arizona, on Dec. 7, 1941.

Local officials and veterans gathered at Braintree Town Hall to remember the attack on Pearl Harbor Friday morning.
Local officials and veterans gathered at Braintree Town Hall to remember the attack on Pearl Harbor Friday morning.
Over an 18-month stretch during World War II, six members of the Diotte family of Braintree served in the U.S. military. 

Alfred, Henry and George Diotte served in the Army, while Norman, Walter and Rita served in the Navy. A plaque commemorating the family's sacrifice stands on a stretch of grass next to Hollis Elementary School.

The Diotte's are but one of many Braintree families whose efforts, along with millions of other Americans, helped the United States succeed in the aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, on Dec. 7, 1941, Veterans Agent Richard Walsh said Friday morning.

"Everything really did change in one day," said Walsh, speaking at Town Hall before a crowd of local officials, veterans and the Braintree High School Concert Choir.

Walsh quoted Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto during the remembrance ceremony as famously saying, "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."

"How right he was," Walsh said.

Congressman Stephen Lynch joined Walsh and Mayor Joseph Sullivan in speaking Friday to how important it is to remember the attack, which killed and wounded 3,500 Americans.

"There's a certain loyalty in the simple act of remembrance," Lynch said. 

Lynch's father is a veteran of World War II, as were his uncles. His dad served in North Africa and Italy, and his mother worked as a welder during the war, a profession that Lynch himself later took up before becoming a lawmaker.

The attack on Pearl Harbor and the subsequent speech by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt rallied the nation, Sullivan said. "There was a sense of spirit, a sense of country... that really allowed our country to come together as one."

"We are one of a few communities who truly recognize this day," Sullivan said. "It falls to our generations to keep alive the memories of those who fell at Normandy, at Iwo Jima and Pearl Harbor."
Brian F Hickman December 06, 2013 at 12:15 PM
Town of Braintree and Mayor Sullivan should be very proud of themselves for recognizing our people who lost there lives at Pearl Harbor! Its sad to see some people in this country who could care less. I worked with Jimmy Fitzpatrick who was at Pearl Harbor that day. He was a Braintree Guy who spent many years on the Braintree Police Dept. Wish I could have been at Town Hall today to remember "FITZY" and the rest of our "GREAT AMERICANS"!
Matt December 06, 2013 at 03:40 PM
Like who?
Brian F Hickman December 06, 2013 at 05:24 PM
You know who Matt!
Matt December 06, 2013 at 07:21 PM
No Brian tell me who?
Brian F Hickman December 06, 2013 at 09:31 PM
The Sailors and the other Americans who lost their lives at Pearl Harbor! Those were "GREAT AMERICANS" who made the ultimate sacrifice! Have a nice weeend Matt.
Matt December 06, 2013 at 10:03 PM
LOL your to funny man. Don't know why you have to get all worked up. Yes they were "Great Americans ". And I really don't know why you think no one cares. People care more than you think.
Elly December 07, 2013 at 11:37 AM
It was a day I will never forget, even though I was a very little girl. I visited Honolulu many years later ever day I heard them play "Taps" from the S.S. Arizona..got "goosebumps" ever day!!
jeanne o'brien December 07, 2013 at 12:59 PM
i remember visiting the memorial at pearl harbor when i was a young adult. i remember one tribute i particular....."they gave all their tomorrows so we may have ours". i remember crying because it was so vivid, and most of these sailors were teenagers! they sure were much more mature than kids today! we should never forget them!!
Matt December 08, 2013 at 08:36 PM
Kids back then were more mature back then Jeanne because there were no helicopter parents like there is today.

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