2016-12-09 / Top Stories

Rockaway Reflects On Pearl Harbor

By Daniel Offner


WWII veterans were presented with citations for their service, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. 
Photo By Daniel Offner WWII veterans were presented with citations for their service, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. Photo By Daniel Offner The world was on the verge of war, when, at approximately 7:48 a.m., Hawaiian time, on Dec. 7, 1941, the Japanese Imperial Navy launched its “infamous” attack on the U.S. naval base in Pearl Harbor.

The resulting onslaught would result in the U.S. Armed Forces immediate involvement in both the Atlantic and Pacific War Theaters.

On the 75th anniversary of the attack, veterans from Rockaway, Breezy Point and Broad Channel gathered at the Memorial Circle, on Rockaway Beach Boulevard at Beach 120th Street, to honor the 2,403 Americans killed on that fateful morning as well as all of the members of the U.S. Armed Forces, who defend our country overseas.

“It’s a very special day,” said Robby Schwach, chief-of-staff for Councilman Eric Ulrich, who worked tirelessly to research the history of each of the 35 soldiers honored at the Memorial Circle. “We’re here today to do a lot, but most importantly, to honor our veterans.”


U.S. Army Veteran Arthur Weaver, who served in both WWII and the Korean War, was among those presented with a NYC Council citation for his service. U.S. Army Veteran Arthur Weaver, who served in both WWII and the Korean War, was among those presented with a NYC Council citation for his service. Students from Scholars’ Academy and Channel View School for Research participated in the ceremony, laying white roses next to each of the 35 memorial stones spread around the garden.

Ulrich joined representatives from NYC Parks Department and the U.S. Army Garrison at Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn, to present the WWII veterans with a citation on behalf of the NYC Council, for their years of military service.

“Hundreds of thousands of service men and women gave their lives to defend this country,” Ulrich said. “They changed the course of history for our country and they changed the course of history of the world.”


Councilman Ulrich’s Chief of Staff Robby Schwach joins Scholars’ students for the singing of the “Star Spangled Banner.” Councilman Ulrich’s Chief of Staff Robby Schwach joins Scholars’ students for the singing of the “Star Spangled Banner.” Despite the time and effort Schwach dedicated toward his research, information on the 35 veterans listed at the Memorial Circle, was rather sparse.

“Unfortunately a great many records here in Rockaway were destroyed in Sandy,” Schwach added.

The memorial was constructed by the Belle Harbor Garden Club in 1947, to honor 33 local veterans who did not return home from battle during WWII. Of the 35 memorial stones, only two are dedicated to veterans who served during the Korean or Vietnam War eras.

Following the ceremony, Scholars’ Academy student body president Ryan Schwach, shared an excerpt from the speech President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered before the joint session of Congress in 1941 and a performance by the Scholars’ Academy Chorus.



City Councilman Eric Ulrich thanks our veterans for their service. 
Photos By Daniel Offner City Councilman Eric Ulrich thanks our veterans for their service. Photos By Daniel Offner

Students from Scholar’s Academy and Channel View School for Research laid white roses on each of the 35 memorial stones around Beach 120th Street. Students from Scholar’s Academy and Channel View School for Research laid white roses on each of the 35 memorial stones around Beach 120th Street.

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Thank You Councilman Eric

Thank You Councilman Eric Ulrich and special thanksto Staff member Robby Schwach for putting this beautiful Ceremony together.


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