On December 8, 1941, Congress declared war on Japan and the Axis powers. The previous day’s Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was the event that launched America into a worldwide conflict that had been raging for two years. In the four years that followed, more than 400,000 Americans gave their lives—over 11,000 of whom were Virginians, and 41 were from Clarke County. Millions of others put their lives at risk.
On December 8, 2016, the Virginia World War I and World War II Commemoration Commission held a Dawn of Infamy: America Goes to War ceremony at the University of Richmond to commemorate the start of World War II. This marked the 75th anniversary of the United States’ entry into the war.
A special recognition ceremony was a key part of the program, during which each World War II veteran in attendance received a commemorative medallion designed for the occasion. More than 80 World War II veterans and hundreds of family and friends gathered to honor the men and women of the greatest generation for their service.
The Greatest Generation is the title of a book by journalist Tom Brokaw. The book popularized the term “Greatest Generation” to describe those who grew up in the United States during the Great Depression, and then went on to fight in World War II. The term also applies as well to those whose productivity on the home front made a decisive contribution to America’s war effort.
Post 41 extended the Dawn of Infamy recognition to our World War II veterans by honoring them at a luncheon at Perkins Restaurant. Seven WWII veterans were able to attend: Karl Anderson, Teddy Brooks, Richard Byrne, Dick Carter, John Kirk, Robert McDonald and Bev Whiting. The purpose of the luncheon was to give these veterans an opportunity to socialize and to recognize them for the service and sacrifice during one of America’s darkest hours. Each veteran was presented a special medallion commemorating December 8, 1941, the 75th anniversary of the United States entry into World War II. The medallions were provided by the Virginia World War II Commemoration Commission. We sincerely thank them for their service and sacrifice.