The National Park Service held a memorial service adjacent to the dry-docked World War II destroyer USS Cassin Young in the Charlestown Navy Yard on Dec. 7, 2010 to commemorate the 1941 surprise attack by the
Japanese on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. USS Cassin Young is named for U.S. Navy Commander Cassin Young, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the attack. The service was attended by about 50 people, including Pearl Harbor survivor Bernard J. Murphy, who served as gunner’s mate aboard the battleship USS Maryland on the day of the attack.
In his remarks, Boston National Historical Park superintendent Cassius Cash said, “We are gathered here today to honor the memory of those who were killed and those who survived the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor sixty-nine years ago, pushing our nation into World War II. The National Park Service holds a unique place in America as manager of our nation’s parks; as a guide and teacher, helping people to experience, value, and respect the meaning of our shared heritage; and as an advocate for the quality of life that is enriched by these places,” he said. “These places help define us as a country, inspire us to continue to grow as a diverse nation, and, especially during difficult times, offer us a place of comfort.”
Also in attendance were fifth-grade students from the Lee Academy Pilot School in Dorchester, who presented Mr. Murphy with a card they made for him in appreciation of his service. The students, who traveled to the navy yard from Dorchester by MBTA with their teacher, John Rogers, are learning about the war as part of the Massachusetts fifth-grade curriculum, and about Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara, who approved visas to thousands of Jews in Lithuania during the war so they could escape to Japan.