For going on twenty years, Southeastern North Carolina has commemorated the annual anniversary of the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, which launched America into World War II, with a solemn, patriotic ceremony. Honoring attending area Pearl Harbor Survivors, men who were stationed there on that day, has highlighted the commemoration.
“This year we’re expanding the theme,” said Wilbur Jones, chairman of the sponsoring World War II Wilmington Home Front Heritage Coalition. “We’ll continue with the appropriate ceremony, then immediately shift gears to the atmosphere of the day before, December 6 in Honolulu, the last night of peace, with swing dance lessons and a typical 1940’s USO dance.”
The scene is the Hannah Block Historic USO/Community Arts Center at Second and Orange Streets downtown, the city’s restored WWII recreational building which serves the public as a perfect blending of history and the arts.
“Place yourself on Waikiki seventy-seven years ago. Wear your Hawaiian shirt, adorned with flowered leis, sing out loud ‘Lovely Hula Hands,’ and jitterbug or slow-dance away the evening,” Jones added.
The Pearl Harbor ceremony begins at 5:30 p.m. At 6:00, the Cape Fear Swing Dance Society will conduct free lessons. At 6:30, vocalist Nicole Thompson’s CoCo and the Cufflinks ensemble will provide dance music until 9:30.
Admission is $15 and tickets are available at wilmingtoncommunityarts.org or 910-341-7860. WWII veterans and their escorts will be admitted free. Beer, wine, soft drinks, coffee, snacks and donuts will be available and donations accepted. Proceeds go the HBHUSO/CAC building preservation fund.
For further information, contact Jean Lawler, Coalition vice chairman, at 617-4300, or firstname.lastname@example.org; or Susan Habas, Thalian Association Community Theatre executive director, at 251-1788, or email@example.com.
Entertainment provided by Coco and the Cufflinks. This event is sponsored by AARP.