American Airpower Museum in Farmingdale hosts annual Pearl Harbor Day commemoration ceremony
A ceremony in Farmingdale Wednesday honored the lives lost during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and servicemen who fought in World War II.
It has been 81 years since the attack that threw the U.S. into World War II, and some Long Islanders still remember the day.
Edward Callahan, then 17, enlisted in the U.S. Navy.
"It came suddenly - everybody was very angry," Callahan said.
By 18, the West Hempstead native was serving as a gunner on a submarine patrol - saying he was eager to get back at the Germans and Japanese.
Now 98, Callahan was honored at the American Airpower Museum with 17 fellow World War II servicemen.
Each year since 2000, the museum commemorates Pearl Harbor Day and the more than 2,400 Americans lives that were lost.
A total of 81 red roses - one for each year since the attack - were blessed. A single white rose was also in the bouquet to remember the victims of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.
Retired Col. Bill Stratemeier says they used to have 14 Pearl Harbor survivors come to the event, but they gradually died off.
Now the museum salutes Long Islanders who enlisted in the days after the attack.
Mineola's Anthony Catalano, 102, served in Gen. George Patton's army. He said the true heroes are the comrades who didn't make it home.
"I think of the friends I lost. I lost a lot of friends," said Catalano, who was only 21 when he enlisted.
Red roses are traditionally flown to New York Harbor and dropped over the Statue of Liberty to commemorate the attack.
Due to the rain, the dropping of the roses will take place on Thursday.