It was a typical December day at the White House—seventeen members of the Marine Orchestra played for a formal luncheon in their special full dress uniforms as Mrs. Roosevelt entertained guests in the Blue Room. But that day the Imperial Japanese Navy attached a U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, thus making Dec. 7, 1941, “a day which will live in infamy.”
According to the Marine Band’s Leader Log, White House Assistant Usher Wilson Searles informed Marine Band Director William F. Santelmann that “Japan was making an air raid on Hawaii.” The log also states that “orders came over [the] radio for all Service men to report to their stations in uniform tomorrow morning.”
At 1:53 p.m. this Saturday, Dec. 7, members of “The President’s Own” will join the Friends of the National World War II Memorial and the National Park Service in a ceremony to honor those who lost their lives in the attack on Pearl Harbor. The ceremony will take place at the National World War II Memorial located at 17th and Constitution Avenue in Northwest, Washington, D.C.
Performing members of the Marine brass quintet include trumpet/cornetists Master Gunnery Sgt. Matthew Harding and Staff Sgt. Michael Warnick, French horn player Staff Sgt. Jennifer Paul, trombonist Staff Sgt. Christopher Reaves, and tuba player Gunnery Sgt. Frank Crawford. They will commemorate the anniversary with patriotic music, John Philip Sousa marches, and military service songs.
“It is a privilege to be part of this ceremony,” Harding said. “What an honor to be there to recognize those of the greatest generation who lost their lives in the attack and those who answered the call for freedom.”
The event is free and open to the public. For more information visit http://www.wwiimemorialfriends.org.