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Maine Marks Anniversary of Pearl Harbor Attack with Ceremonies Around State

A.J. Higgins
Maine Public
Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Dan Moore speaks at Bangor's Pearl Harbor Day ceremonies.

Ceremonies were held around the state today to mark the anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Among those gathered at Fort Allen Park in Portland was Marine veteran John McLeod, who was 18 years old and serving in the Civilian Conservation Corps in Bar Harbor at the time of the attack in 1941.

He says he tries to commemorate Pearl Harbor Day every year.

"I doubt if I'll be around next year — I'm 93 right now. I've been trying to come here every year if I could, and of course every year it gets colder," he jokes.

McLeod says he later joined the Marines, and landed in Okinawa on April 1, 1945.

Meanwhile in Bangor, area vets and acting armed forces members gathered downtown for a parade and annual wreath-laying ceremony at a pedestrian bridge named for Willard C. Orr, a 1939 Bangor High School graduate who was the only city resident to die at Pearl Harbor during the Japanese attack.

Chief Master Sgt. Dan Moore, command chief with the 101st Air Refueling Wing, told the audience that those who lost their lives 75 years ago represented a real cross-section of America.

“They ranged in age from those barely legal to serve to those who were nearing the end of their service commitment,” he says. “A diverse group of Americans who in death found unanimity as Pearl Harbor casualties.”

Members of Maine’s congressional delegation and the governor’s office sent representatives to the wreath-laying over Kenduskeag Stream, where members of the junior ROTC group extended a three-volley salute.

The Pearl Harbor wreath-laying event has been observed in Bangor for the last 42 years.