Community members, local elected officials and Armed Services veterans, attended Rotterdam's 14th annual Pearl Harbor Day service on Friday, Dec. 7, at town hall.
The event was held in memory of the more than 2,400 Americans who were killed in a surprise Japanese attack on the U.S. Fleet's Pearl Harbor base in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Dec. 7, 1941.
State Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco, R-Schenectady, who gave an address at the remembrance, repeatedly echoed the sentiments of then-President Franklin Delano Roosevelt that the events of that historic and tragic day continue to live in infamy."
"I think we sometimes forget how terrible and dastardly that attack was," said Tedisco. "Today we memorialize the people who were there that day, on that day 'which will live in infamy.'"
Tedisco recalled growing up in Rotterdam playing basketball in Memorial Park. One of his first jobs was park director at the Curry Road park.
"All the time I lived in this great town I never knew who named it Memorial Park," said Tedisco. "The logical reason though, is that it was named to honor the men and women who served our country."
For Tedisco, the freedoms he enjoyed growing up in America, were directly related to the soldiers who served his country, a sentiment he upholds today.
"In much the same manner that Pearl Harbor changed America then, the attacks of 9/11 changed America for us," said Tedisco. "The battle America fought then is not unlike the war now " the war on terror."
According to Tedisco, our nation's history could serve as a hopeful insight into our nation's future.
"Looking to the painful lessons of our past, we know we will be victorious," he said. "Americans must stay unified and remember any attack on our freedom."
After Tedisco's address, members of various veterans groups such as the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Disabled American Veterans, participated with local officials in placing memorial wreaths in town hall.