Remember Pearl Harbor
A group of six young men and one young woman from the Pueblo community, including two Pueblo West students, had the once-in-a-lifetime experience of participating in the Pearl 75th remembrance ceremony at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7.
The middle and high school students from the Pueblo Young Marines group worked hard to raise funds to attend the ceremony. There, they met up with about 250 other Young Marines from throughout the country and participated in a number of activities.
Most notably, the Young Marines were in Waikiki on Pearl Harbor Day for the 75th Anniversary Remembrance Day parade, and spent time with survivors of the attack. They helped carry banners representing the ships that were lost during the attacks, as well as the service members who lost their lives.
“It’s a trip of community service and history,” said Pueblo Young Marines Unit Commander Joe McDonough. “It’s a big experience and a privilege to be able to go and honor our veterans and a fantastic learning experience for our Young Marines.
“I could see the sense of pride in our Young Marines as they stood in formation at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. Being able to hear stories from our veterans of what they went through during World War II is ever so important, as the first-hand accounts of their experiences will vanish with them when they pass away.”
The students worked hard to earn $2,000 each for their trips. They did a car wash, sold food, had a garage sale, sent letters to family members and businesses to help raise funds. And several local groups gave donations, including the Pueblo West Eagles, the Pueblo West Women’s League and the Pueblo West VFW.
The group flew to Hawaii on Dec. 3 and kept busy while there. They conducted community service cleanup projects at Kanehoe Bay Marine Crops Base, participated in a luau with other Young Marines at Bellow’s Air Force Station.
The group toured the island and visited the USS Arizona Memorial, the USS Missouri Museum and the Pacific Aviation Museum, all at Pearl Harbor. They also got to see a performance by the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band and one by the U.S. Marine Crops Forces Pacific Band.
The Pueblo group laid a wreath at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (also known as the Punch Bowl) and toured the cemetery. The students traveled Oahu, learned more about WWII history and Polynesian culture.
The Pueblo Young Marines members who took the trip were YM/Staff Sergeant Hunter McDonough from Pueblo West High School, YM/Corporal Abbigail Berkenbile, homeschooled; YM/Lance Corporal Edward Church, homeschooled; YM/Lance Corporal Eli Sandoval, Chavez Huerta Preparatory Academy, YM/Lance Corporal Timmothy Pacheco, Corwin International Magnet School, YM/Lance Corporal Lucas Pacheco, Corwin International Magnet School and YM/Private First Class Jayden Sandoval, Liberty Point International.