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Young Marines are a part of Pearl Harbor Day Remembrance ceremony

PARTICIPATE IN CEREMONY — Four youth members of the Tri-State Young Marines in Weirton traveled to Pearl Harbor to perform a wreath laying and meet Pearl Harbor survivors at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. In addition, the Young Marines led the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade in Honolulu and performed community service by cleaning two beaches. Local representatives were, from left, Pvt. Gianna Truax, PFC April Moffo, PFC Shaun Lebbano Jr. and Sgt. David Connors. -- Contributed

One hundred and fifty members of the Young Marines from 20 separate units throughout the United States traveled to Hawaii to participate in the 78th anniversary Pearl Harbor Day Remembrance.

That included four members of the Weirton-based Tri-State Young Marines — Pvt. Gianna Truax, PFC April Moffo, PFC Shaun Lebbano Jr. and Sgt. David Connors.

The Young Marines along with the leadership of the American Legion, Marine Corps League Hawaii, Vietnam Veterans of America Hawaii, AMVETS Hawaii and Best Defense Foundation performed a wreath-laying ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, the Punchbowl, in memory of all the brave men and women who are interred there, according to a news release.

A significant honor for the Young Marines was leading the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade in Honolulu. Youth members of the Young Marines carried the banners of the 12 capital ships that were attacked. The parade’s objective was to honor the heroes and survivors of Pearl Harbor and World War II, to pay tribute to veterans, active duty military members and military families, to celebrate freedom and to keep in remembrance the heinous events of Dec. 7, 1941.

In addition, the Young Marines performed community service by cleaning up two beaches — Fort Hase Beach and Pyramid Rock Beach at Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

“The Young Marines personally met five of the survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor,” said Col William P. Davis USMC (Ret), national executive director and CEO of the Young Marines. “Those veterans are, in every sense of the words living history, and each has a story to tell,” Davis said. “It is an honor and lasting memory for each Young Marine to meet these veterans and memorialize the ones who are no longer with us.”

Young Marines units raised funds at their local level to supplement the costs of traveling to Hawaii to attend the remembrance ceremonies. “Young Marines used their creativity and applied the program’s core values — leadership, teamwork and discipline — to implement unique and effective fundraising efforts,” the release notes.

The Young Marines is a national nonprofit 501c (3) youth education and service program for boys and girls, age 8 through the completion of high school. The Young Marines promotes the mental, moral and physical development of its members. The program focuses on teaching the values of leadership, teamwork and self-discipline, so its members can live and promote a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.

Since the Young Marines’ humble beginnings in 1959 with one unit and a handful of boys, the organization has grown to 264 units with 8,500 youth and 2,500 adult volunteers in 40 states, the District of Columbia, Japan and affiliates in other countries.

For information, visit the official website at www.YoungMarines.com.

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