BANGOR TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - A flag that flew over a naval ship during the Pearl Harbor bombing was displayed Sunday during a service marking the attack’s 73rd anniversary on a decommissioned destroyer near Bay City.
About 70 people attended the event at the USS Edson in Bangor Township, The Bay City Times reported (https://bit.ly/1ANh3qf ).
The tattered flag on display flew over the USS Selfridge during the attack on Dec. 7, 1941. It had been salvaged off the Edson and sent earlier this year to the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum from a New York museum. A wreath was dropped into the Saginaw River to conclude Sunday’s memorial.
“We felt that it would really be remiss, seeing that it was naval vessels that were attacked, if we didn’t remember this day,” said Michael Kegley, president of the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum.
The museum operates the Edson, which arrived in Bay County in 2013. The ship was commissioned in 1958.
C.J. Uhlmann, of Bay City, attended the ceremony. Uhlmann served aboard the USS Harry E. Hubbard shortly after the Korean War.
“It brings back memories,” he told the newspaper. “I worked the front engine and to see the pumps and the steam engine, it’s very familiar. It even smells the same. That’s what brings back the memories most, it smells like a ship.”
Gov. Rick Snyder called for all U.S. flags in Michigan to be lowered to half-staff until sunset Sunday as part of Pearl Harbor Day.
“Our nation will always remember the actions of that day, and the heroism of the men and women serving our country then, and in the years to follow,” Snyder said in a release.
It’s not clear exactly how many survivors of the Pearl Harbor attack remain in Michigan, but one statistic at least offers a glimpse. The Secretary of State says there were 24 unexpired “Pearl Harbor Survivor” license plates on file as of Nov. 1. The plates are only issued to survivors of the attack.
State figures also show their dwindling ranks: In 1992, there were 229 Pearl Harbor plates on file; it dropped to 101 in 2004 and 55 in 2009.
The plate was first issued on Veteran’s Day in 1988.
Information from: The Bay City Times, https://www.mlive.com/bay-city
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