A nation called to reflect 80 years after attack on Pearl Harbor

Flags are at half-staff across Colorado to mark the 80th anniversary
Published: Dec. 7, 2021 at 6:43 AM MST
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DENVER, Colo. (KKTV) - Tuesday marks 80 years since “the day that will live in infamy”: the attack on Pearl Harbor that cost thousands of lives and catapulted the U.S. into nearly four years of war.

As the attack fades from living memory, state and national leaders are calling on Americans to keep the events of that day in the consciousness of generations now and generations yet to come.

“As we mark National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, we honor the patriots who perished, commemorate the valor of all those who defended our Nation, and recommit ourselves to carrying forth the ensuing peace and reconciliation that brought a better future for our world.  Today, we give thanks to the Greatest Generation, who guided our nation through some of our darkest moments and laid the foundations of an international system that has transformed former adversaries into allies,” President Joe Biden said in a proclamation to mark National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has order flags across the state lowered from sunrise until sunset Tuesday.

Pearl Harbor survivor and longtime Colorado Springs resident Lt. Jim Downing once told 11 News that he was simply doing his job when he jumped onto a burning ship to stop the flames from reaching the munition locker.

“Dec. 7, my job was to do what I could after the attack.”

Downing died in 2018 at the age of 104. During his long life, he said he memorized the names of his fellow servicemen and later wrote personal letters to their families to let them know that he was with them in their final moments.

It’s now the turn of Americans alive today to carry those memories forward.

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