Owego VFW holds tribute ceremony on Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

Published: Dec. 7, 2022 at 7:54 PM EST
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OWEGO (WBNG) -- In recognition of National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, a special ceremony was held at the Owego VFW to honor local survivors and those lost during the attack.

Wednesday marks 81 years since the attack on the U.S. Navy Base at Pearl Harbor. The attack took the lives of over 2,000 soldiers and citizens and injured over 1,000 others.

“About 300 American airplanes and 18 ships were damaged or destroyed in the surprise assault,” Chairman of the Owego Veterans Memorial Committee Jim Raftis. “The event single handedly catapulted America into World War II.”

Aboard one of those ships was Delmar Dale Sibley of Owego, who was killed in action aboard the battleship U.S.S. Arizona. The community commemorated him as well as four other Tioga County Servicemen who survived the attack.

The four survivors include Army Mechanic Bill Kennedy of Owego, U.S. Marine Machine Gun Crewman Lester Dunham of Owego, Army Sergeant Donald Stocks of Owego, and Army Sergeant Richard Hopkins of Berkshire. All four survivors are now deceased, but their legacy lives on.

“We pause in commemoration of those who fought and died on December the 7, 1941 -- especially remembering Seaman Delmar Dale Sibley of Owego, who is still on board the U.S.S. Arizona,” said Raftis. “And we honor their bravery and final sacrifice, including the four from Tioga County who survived.”