Beacon lighting ceremony commemorates day that will live in infamy

A group of Pearl Harbor survivors will gather on Mt. Diablo Tuesday at 3:45 p.m. to commemorate the "day that will live in infamy" at the annual beacon lighting ceremony.

The 75-foot aviation beacon was removed from service on Dec. 7, 1941 as a wartime security measure but later refurbished. Dec. 7 is usually one of a few days a year that visitors can stay late enough at the top to see the sunset without camping overnight, according to park officials.

This year's ceremony will include a color guard in WWII uniform, remembrances from three or four Pearl Harbor survivors and a featured speaker, Maj. Gen. Ronald Lowe, U.S. Army Ret.

"We really want it to be bounded by acknowledging the survivors and acknowledging the day, then lighting the beacon," said Wayne Korsinen, master of ceremonies and honorary member of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, Chapter 13. "Survivors will reminisce about that morning and then we go out to the parking lot and witness the lighting of the beacon in honor of those who died on Oahu on Dec. 7, 1941."

About 2,400 people -- servicemen and civilians -- died in the 1941 attack on the Hawaiian naval base. Another 60,000 survived, according to published reports. But today there are only between 3,000 and 4,000 survivors still living, according to published reports. Most are in their late 80s.

First lit by Charles Lindberg, the 82-year-old tower light is visible for about 100 miles. The Standard Diablo Tower was built by Standard Oil of California jointly with the U.S. Department of Commerce to guide aircraft flying into the Bay Area before World War II.

The public is welcome to attend the event, which will be held inside the visitor's center atop the mountain. For more information, call 925-685-0953.


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Posted by Ralph N. Shirlet
a resident of another community
on Dec 6, 2010 at 1:43 pm

Where exactly is infamy? Is it anywhere near etc and infinity?

And what do you think? Can the people in Hawaii see the beacon?

Let's us all take a moment and regret war tomorrow and all those lives lost in its futility.

Ralph N. Shirlet, sadly

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Posted by Maria
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Dec 8, 2010 at 9:28 am

Ralph, infamy, means for ever, so that you and others can live free and continue make stupid comments. The people of Hawaii have that beacon in their heart for ever!!!

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Posted by Harald A. Bailey
a resident of another community
on Dec 8, 2010 at 6:53 pm

Tonight a neighbor challenged me to explain the meaning of the Mt. Diablo beacon to the many that have seen the unfortunate reality of war. I only suggested that war leaves no options among those that serve but to "keep each other alive and reduce the horrors all around us."

Kindly, the neighbor without knowledge of war just did not understand service without some higher patriotic purpose. War removes purpose and focuses its participants on the very basis of life itself. It solves nothing and defends nothing. It is its end that lets humanity recover with humanity among all peoples without concern for country and governments.

No one likely can understand that if they haven't been there.

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