Contra Costa County residents will gather Wednesday for a ceremony to honor the survivors and pay tribute to those who lost their lives during the Pearl Harbor attacks 75 years ago.
As has been the case every National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day since 1964, the beacon atop Mount Diablo will be lit at sunset and shine until sunrise to memorialize the Japanese attacks on the U.S. Navy base on Dec. 7, 1941.
"The beacon lighting is a tribute to those individuals that lost their lives at Pearl Harbor," Earl "Chuck" Kohler, one of the few remaining survivors in Contra Costa County, said in a statement.
Save Mount Diablo, the Sons & Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors Association and California State Parks officials will light the "Eye of Diablo" at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
A ceremony will precede the beacon lighting beginning at 3:45 p.m. in the Oak Room of the library building at California State University, East Bay's Concord campus, 4700 Ygnacio Valley Road, with parking available at the school. A live feed from the summit of Mount Diablo to the ceremony will be provided by CCTV.
While this is the 53rd annual Pearl Harbor Day beacon lighting ceremony, the beacon was originally installed and illuminated in 1928. But after the attack in Hawaii, its light was extinguished out of fear that it could aid an attack on California.
The beacon stayed dark until Pearl Harbor Day 1964, when Fleet Adm. Chester Nimitz relit it in a ceremony and suggested the beacon be illuminated every Dec. 7 to honor those who served and sacrificed.
Three years ago, the beacon was restored to ensure it continues to shine for years to come.
For more information about the ceremony, visit Save Mount Diablo online.