KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — One of the final tributes of the year to veterans occurred Wednesday for National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. In Knoxville, the American Legion Post 2 hosted its annual Pearl Harbor Day of Remembrance Ceremony on the 81st anniversary of the “date which will live in infamy” when Imperial Japan attacked the United States.

American Legion Post 2’s Pearl Harbor Remembrance Ceremony was held on Wednesday at the Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery, with services starting at 12:45 p.m. and a moment of silence at 12:55 p.m. The moment of silence in Knoxville coincides with the remembrance ceremony sponsored by the Navy and the National Park Service that took place in Hawaii at 7:55 a.m. (HST).

This event was held in the chapel at the Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery located at 5901 Lyons View Pike in Knoxville. The guest speaker was MG (Ret) Leslie Purser, USA.

A recent proclamation from The White House details one of our nation’s darkest dates: “On National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, we honor the memories of the 2,403 service members and civilians whose lives were cut short on that tragic December morning.  We reflect on the resilience of America’s Armed Forces, who withstood the attack and built the most capable fighting force the world has ever known.  In the wake of tragedy, these brave women and men — the Greatest Generation — answered the call to defend freedom, justice, and democracy across the Pacific, throughout Europe, and around the globe.  Today, we carry forward their spirit of unity and their enduring resolve to protect the United States against those who seek to do us harm.

     “This commemoration is also a solemn reminder that our country is capable of achieving great triumphs coming out of dark moments.  From the death and destruction at Pearl Harbor came victory over the forces of fascism.  Fierce battles with the Axis powers gave way to diplomatic partnerships with strong allies.  And from the darkness of World War II came the light of liberty and the establishment of a rules-based international order.  Today and every day, we remember that the great and defining truth about our Nation and our people is that there is nothing beyond our capacity — we do not break, we never give in, and we never back down.”