Ceremony commemorates 82nd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor

Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors member Carlissa Puckett, front, of Fort Worth, Texas and Terry Prince, director of Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, center, toss wreaths into Lake Springfield during a Pearl Harbor remembrance ceremony Thursday at Springfield Elk's Lodge Post 158. Bobby Edwards, past Veterans of Foreign Wars state commander and past exalted ruler of the lodge, salutes during the 82nd-anniversary observance of the attack.

About 50 people turned out at Springfield Elks Lodge Post 158 Thursday to honor soldiers who fought and died in the attack on Pearl Harbor 82 years ago.

The annual commemoration included the symbolic wreath-laying ceremony by the Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors, the playing of "Taps," and a three-volley gun salute.

“The attack on Pearl Harbor changed the course of our nation,” said Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs director Terry Prince, in a statement. “We gather each year to remember the sacrifices of those who lost their lives and the many who experienced this startling invasion of our country.”

The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Station on the U.S. The naval base in Hawaii came under fire at 7:55 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941, and resulted in the loss of 2,403 lives. It also led to the formal entry of the U.S. into World War II. Pearl Harbor remains an active military base and is the headquarters for the Pacific Fleet.

This article originally appeared on State Journal-Register: Ceremony at Springfield Elks Lodge 158 remembers Pearl Harbor attack