Kerr told the Rome audience, as always, heavily sprinkled with veterans from World War Two, Vietnam and Korea that he takes his story of the events at Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941 in an effort to renew a sense of pride in the United States of America.
“A high price was paid for freedom on that one particular day,” Kerr said. “2,403 military personnel lost their lives on December 7, 1941. I’m proud to be here with you today.”
Kerr suggested that if the U.S. had paid attention to several events that took place prior to the Japanese raid, that history might have been written differently.
The biggest thing that he was concerned about was that on Thursday December 4, every unit was called out on an alert, put on the ready for battle. “On Saturday, the 6th of December 1941, someone, somebody, we don’t know who, called off that alert,” Kerr said. “If they had still been on alert, it would have been a different battle.”
Among the large crowd at the Myrtle Hill Cemetery was Dezie Lerner, a visitor from Estonia, who left her native land at the age of 5 in 1944. She was visiting with Romans Bruce and Aurora Behner and wanted to pay tribute to the American veterans particularly those who served in World War Two.
“Estonia is in such a strategic location, the reason is they wanted a seaport on the Baltic Sea which did not freeze in the winter,” Lerner said. “Out of 800 years we’ve only been free for 40 years. If it weren’t for the American military winning World War Two there would not have been an Estonia as it is today. This impressive ceremony is a very important ceremony.”