It was a somber day for the nearly 40 who gathered to remember the invasion of Pearl Harbor 71 years ago. "All those guys were on the ship. They didn't know what was happening, and before they knew it, they were gone," said Joseph Del Grippo, a Korean War veteran and manager of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 335 in Cranford.
The remembrance event has been going on for about 10 years, said Del Grippo, a former Marine. "We felt most people have forgotten Pearl Harbor. They shouldn't," he said. The post, led by Commander Jim D'Arcy, held a flag-lowering ceremony on the street outside the South Avenue East building.
Just ahead of the Friday morning rain and with tiny American flags dotting the perimeter, taps played on a bugle. The group sang the "Star-Spangled Banner," and a color guard fired off 4 rifles. "It's an honor to remember all the servicemen that we lost in Pearl Harbor," Del Grippo said.
Following the ceremony the group went into the VFW Post to share pastries and coffee and to listen to a recording of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's speech. Del Grippo said the Cranford VFW is one of the few around that holds and annual Dec. 7 event. And, he said, they plan on continuing the tradition for years to come, and never forget those lost in Pearl Harbor.