HIGHLAND — Joe Zych was one of about 30 people who were on hand Friday for the annual Pearl Harbor memorial service at Main Square Park.
Zych, of Lowell, attends every year in honor of his father, Joe Zych Sr., who was a Pearl Harbor survivor.
“This is very special to me because my dad was a survivor and he was my best friend,” Zych said. “I come here to remember him."
The ceremony began 11:55 a.m., the time when Imperial Japanese forces attacked Pearl Harbor.
Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors National Executive Board Director Jim Laud Sr. led the memorial service. American Legion Post 66 posted colors, while the Knights of Columbus lowered the flag to half-staff.
The Rev. Mike Maginot, of St. Stephen the Martyr Parish, said the invocation and told the crowd, "We remember that infamous day and we remember those who protect us from attacks."
Laud reminded people of the staggering statistics about the Pearl Harbor attack, including 2,400 killed and 1,200 wounded.
"We must not ignore the lessons we have learned," Laud said. "Many brave and heroic deeds happened 77 years ago."
The Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors group wants to keep the memory of this day alive and wants people to know what happened and to carry on what others have fought for.
Laud feels fighting for this patriotism is important so that mistakes aren't made again.