The bombing of Pearl Harbor took place 74 years ago and thousands of miles away, but it’s the focus for one LaSalle County city this weekend. Peru holds its annual Pearl Harbor Day parade tomorrow.
It’s one of the shortest parades in Illinois, but one of the most powerful. This will be the 36th year veterans will gather at the Peru Rescue Station along the Illinois River, march several blocks to the South Shore Boat Club, and hold a ceremony honoring those who died at Pearl Harbor and those who survived.
The number of Pearl Harbor vets in the parade has dwindled over the years. This year, there may be just one. A veteran from Streator who was stationed at Pearl Harbor during the attack says he plans to attend, as usual.
The parade starts at 11:30, followed by a 21-gun salute. A wreath is then floated into the Illinois River.
In 2003, WNIJ's Susan Stephens attended the parade in Peru and spoke with a number of survivors of the Pearl Harbor attack.
Thanks to WNIJ Archives intern Janet Gatz for recovering the audio of this story.