Written by Connie Shakalis Friday, 10 December 2010 00:00
Commemorating Pearl Harbor Day, Farmingdale’s American Air Power Museum hosted a ceremony presenting proclamations from President Barack Obama to World War II veterans Seymour Blutt, Bernard Berner, Gerard Barbosa and William Halleran, as were Joyce Tupper and Betty Du Brul, widows of Pearl Harbor survivors.
The honorees greeted other veterans, active service members, musicians, politicians, and family members.
Since 1970, on each anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day, a Dropping of the Roses ceremony is held. Red roses are transported from the American Air Power Museum in Farmingdale and strewn on the waters around the Statue of Liberty to commemorate those who served during World War II.
Seymour Blutt, of the Army’s Aircorps’ 11th Bomb Group during World War II, lives in Manhattan and has made the trip to the Museum and rose-drop ceremony for several years.
“We were one of the first groups in the South Pacific to bomb the Japanese fleets,” said Blutt.
Honoree William Halleran, who was only 19 when he joined the service, said, “I like to see the old guys and see if we can still all get around.”
Also in attendance was Bernard Berner who served in the Army’s Chemical Warfare Division, who is now a member of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association.
Honoree Gerard Barbosa said, “This is my tenth time here; we get a chance to get together and talk about what really happened.”
Colonel Thomas Owens, current Commander of the 106th RQW, publicly thanked the survivors for “saving the world back in 1941 to 1945.”
Owens said, “People from World War II and the Vietnam War are leaving us now; we must keep this a grateful nation.”