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Movie Day at the Hangar remembers Pearl Harbor, recognizes first responders

Ed Holley and an SNJ-4

Highland Lakes Squadron of the Commemorative Air Force member Ed Holley shows off the squadron’s SNJ-4, which will be available for rides, for a fee, during Movie Day at the Hangar. The event is 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, at the squadron’s hangar and museum, 2402 S. Water St. (U.S. 281) in Burnet. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

Three organizations are coming together Saturday, Dec. 5, to remember the attack on Pearl Harbor as well as celebrate local first responders.

The Highland Lakes Squadron of the Commemorative Air Force, the Hoover Valley Volunteer Fire Department, and VFW Post 6974 of Burnet are sponsoring Movie Day at the Hangar, which is 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at the squadron’s hangar, 2402 S. Water St. (U.S. 281) in Burnet. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for ages 17 and younger. 

During the event, you can check out apparatus from the volunteer fire department, a presentation at noon recognizing Pearl Harbor Day and first responders, and a screening of the 1971 film “Tora! Tora! Tora!” at about 1 p.m. The movie dramatizes the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan.

Meat Sweats will serve barbecue with sides and desserts for a donation. 

Pearl Harbor Day is Dec. 7 and memorializes the Imperial Japanese Navy’s surprise attack on the U.S. Naval Base in Hawaii on Dec. 7, 1941, which fully launched the United States into World War II. Since Pearl Harbor Day falls on a Monday this year, organizers are recognizing it over the weekend.

“They say we celebrate the birth of this country on the Fourth of July 1776, but really, its identity was forged out of the destruction that day that Pearl Harbor was attacked,” said Jeff Copsetta of the Highland Lakes squadron during an interview Dec. 2 with KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune’s Ed Chandler. “It really took this country to a whole other level.”

He added that recognizing first responders during the event falls in line with how the country responded after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

“After the destruction of Pearl Harbor, everybody had to be a first responder,” Copsetta told Chandler. “The whole country had to stand up and take the fight to the enemy. It’s the inherent risk all of our first responders have, now more than ever.”

With few survivors of Pearl Harbor still alive to tell their stories, events such as these are more important than ever, Copsetta pointed out.

“We want to make sure history stays relevant, stays exciting,” he said. 

He encourages all generations to attend the family-friendly event. The squadron will offer rides, for a fee, in its World War II-era SNJ-4 airplane. 

daniel@thepicayune.com