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Mount Diablo beacon set for annual Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day lighting

Event Saturday to take place in Concord, not atop the mountain, because of chilly weather forecasts

The beacon on Mount Diablo is set to be lit Saturday in honor of Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, marking the structure's first official illumination since its renovation earlier this year.

"We are grateful to have been involved in the restoration of this historic symbol of freedom," said Ron Brown, executive director of Save Mount Diablo. "Its restoration ensures the memory of those who lost their lives on that historic day will continue to live on."

The event Saturday -- organized by Save Mount Diablo, California State Parks and Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors Association -- will mark the 50th annual Mount Diablo beacon lighting on the anniversary of the Japanese attack on the U.S. Navy base.

Known as the "Eye of Diablo," the beacon will be lit at sunset and will remain aglow until sunrise Sunday morning. It is expected to shine brighter than ever because of the recent restoration.

The lighting ceremony will take place in Concord, not atop Mount Diablo, because of anticipated chilly weather and frigid winds. The event is scheduled to run from 3:45-5 p.m. Saturday inside the Oak Room of the Library Building at the California State University East Bay Concord Campus, 4700 Ygnacio Valley Road.

The 85-year-old beacon has deep historical ties to the Dec. 7, 1941 Pearl Harbor attack. Its light was turned off in the wake of the assault in Hawaii because of concerns it might make a strike in California easier during World War II.

And the light stayed off until Dec. 7, 1964, when Fleet Adm. Chester Nimitz re-lit the beacon to honor those who fought and remember those who died in the attack 23 years earlier. The lighting ceremony has occurred annually since.

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