HONESDALE, WAYNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Tuesday is the 80th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor when Japanese planes carried out a surprise strike on U.S. military bases in Hawaii.
A special service was held in Oahu Tuesday. Survivors, family members, military leaders, and those currently in the military took part in the remembrance ceremony.
The theme was valor, sacrifice and peace. Back at home, a special rail excursion was held in Wayne County to commemorate the courage, service, and sacrifice of our greatest generation. It included students who are learning this key piece of history.
100 people listened as re-enactors played out the roles of key figures of World war II such as General Lyman Lemnitzer of Honesdale and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
Veterans and guests hopped aboard the Stourbridge Line for a rare excursion.
“The railroad helped supply World War II, with supplies and materials. Along with that, troops. Moving troops across the country,” Stourbridge Line excursion manager Tim Wright said.
The train cars are frozen in time. Memorabilia is on display for guests to get a sense of the World War II era.
“These are epic events if you will, but there are other events that every day soldiers are out there protecting our country,” retired U.S. Army veteran Tom Myles said.
Three dozen Honesdale High School students joined the excursion as part of their curriculum.
“We just got through World War I, so we are going to be going into World War II pretty soon so it will be great to have this background knowledge of Pearl Harbor when we get there,” senior John Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez believes history is being forgotten among the younger generation.
“It’s really important that we remember the history, what happened and also honor all those veterans who served,” Rodriguez said.
AP U.S. History teacher Shawn Knash hopes to bridge that gap.
“Sometimes history happens right in front of you and what’s going to happen afterward, what’s going to follow will affect you and generations to come. So, the fact that we teach that now, it’s a skill that is translatable they are more prepared for that moment when it happens,” Knash said.
Once the train returned to Honesdale from Hawley, the Stourbridge Line invited guests to walk through the Presidential train car. Presidents including Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt used the car extensively for travel in the early 20th century.