Colorado posts join forces to remember

Loveland, CO

American Legion posts 15 and 2000 in Loveland, Colo., joined forces in honoring those who served on Dec. 7, 1941.

Today not very many communities do more than lower their flags to half staff to pay tribute and memorialize Dec. 7, 1941, and the event that led us in to World War II. Marilee Rayome wanted to do more and build on a long standing tradition in Loveland of honoring and remembering the day that will live in infamy.

Rayome, president of the American Legion Auxiliary unit 2000, directed and organized the Pearl Harbor Day event, which was held at the local veterans park named in honor of Harold Dwayne Webster.

Commander Harold Gosse of American Legion Post 15 too had a program in mind to unveil some memorabilia never seen before by the public from one of Loveland’s own (Sc2 Harold Dwayne Webster) that enlisted in the Navy on Dec. 7, 1940, and died one year later while serving aboard the USS Arizona. The unveiling was to take place inside the Associated Veterans Club of Loveland.

Inclement weather forced the outdoor event indoors and brought the two programs together under one roof. The results were overwhelmingly regarded as one of the best tributes to honor and remember Pearl Harbor by many of the local citizens. Karen Boehler, a past American Legion Department of Colorado Auxiliary president for 2012-13, had just returned from Pearl Harbor. Boehler was so touched and moved by the event she couldn’t stop the tears or the warmth in her heart to see such an event in our own home state.

The home of the Associated Veterans of Loveland hall held over 150 people in attendance. The program started out with the local JROTC presenting the colors, guest and dignitaries joined together in a pledge of allegiance followed by singing the National Anthem. Loveland City Mayor Cecil Gutierrez, a veteran, announced a proclamation that designates the week of Dec. 1-7 to honor Pearl Harbor.

Rayome read off the names of every Colorado servicemember whose remains are eternally resting beneath the water’s surface in Hawaii aboard the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor. As she called out each name and rank, an American flag was placed in the wreath by Robb Smith and Tony Abbott, both of American Legion Post 2000. As the flags were placed the sound from the toll of the bell could be heard as it was struck by City Council member and Post 15 Legion member Ralph Trenary.

Colorado Boys who went down with the USS Arizona on Dec. 7, 1941:

Fireman 2nd class Gordon Eugene Berry
Gunners Mate 2nd class Sam Bohlender
Boatswains mate 2nd class James Thomas Callaghan
Fireman 2nd class Harold Milton Carmack
Seaman 1st class Edward Gomez, Jr
Seaman 2nd class William Arthur Goodwin
Fireman 1st class Peter Charles Gordon, Jr.
Seaman 2nd class Leo Shinn Heely
Seaman 1st class Edmon Ethmer Jones
Seaman 1st class Homer Lloyd Jones
Shipfitter 2nd class James Mitchell Lindsay
Fireman 1st class Lester Ellsworth Mayfield
Seaman 1st class Rex Eugene O'Neall
Seaman 1st class Virgil Simon Off
Storekeeper 2nd class Richard Allen Owens
Seaman 1st class James Richard Philbin
Seaman 2nd class Earl Arthur Reynolds
Seaman 1st class Marvin John Shugart
Seaman 2nd class Harold Dwayne Webster
Seaman 2nd class Joseph William Will
Boatswains Mate 2nd class Harold Baker Wood
Ensign Eric Reed Young
Seaman 1st class John Virgel Zeiler

Photographs by Leighanne Deney

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