They gathered on a cold, rainy morning so people would not forget.
About 12 proud members of Duryea VFW Post 1227 and American Legion Post 585 marked the 71st anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that killed thousands of people and launched the United States into World War II.
President Obama proclaimed Dec. 7 as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. Locally, a short ceremony was held in front of the VFW Post on Friday.
American Legion Past Post Commander Edward Matt encouraged a renewal of patriotism.
We honor the memory of those who gave their lives in the service of our country, and of those others who have dropped their burdens by the wayside of life, and have gone to their eternal rest, Matt said. May the ceremonies of today deepen our reverence for our dearly departed friends and comrades. Let us renew our pledge of loyalty to our country and its flag. Let us resolve by word and deed to emphasize the privilege and duty of patriotism.
The flag hung at half staff.
VFW Post Commander Danny Stella said the day that will live in infamy will never be forgotten.
Today's ceremony is so that we always remember and never forget the soldiers, the airmen and the nearly 5,000 people that died that day, he said.
U.S. Navy veteran Adam Kilyanek, of Duryea, served about the USS Randall during the Korean War.
All six of his brothers served in the military - five in World War II and he and another brother in Korea.
When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, Kilyanek was still in high school.
His oldest brother, Stanley, was one of the first servicemen brought back to Duryea after being killed in the Battle of Saipan in the Mariana Islands
The streets were lined with people, from Old Forge to Duryea, they came from the railroad station in Old Forge. They marched to our home and delivered his body to our home on South Main Street.
Stella, a Sgt. 1st Class in the Army National Guard, said ceremonies like the one on Friday morning allows citizens to remember their roots.
Those servicemen on that day lost their lives, but in many ways they shaped our country to be what it is today, he said. We need to keep it going.
The ceremony concluded with a rifle volley and the playing of Taps. And Kilyanek offered a prayer.
May God help us to remember with reverence the valor and devotion of our departed comrades. he said. We pray the American Legion and the VFW may preserve the high ideals by which our comrades fought and died.