The Band Played On

As the sun illuminated the horizon on December 7, 1941, sailors aboard the USS Nevada assumed that they were about to greet a typical Sunday. Some planned to attend church services. Others waited for their shift to end so that they could enjoy a day at the beach with family and friends. Those on duty that morning prepared to tackle the daily tasks that must be accomplished on their watch.

One task, in particular, had to be completed each morning; the American flag had to be raised while the band played the national anthem. At 7:55 a.m., the first call for the morning colors went out. The twenty-three members of the band and color guard prepared to do their daily job. As the morning's ceremony began, those on deck heard the low roar of airplane engines. They assumed that the rumble was caused by an army pilot flying too close to the ship. At 8:00 a.m., the band began "The Star-Spangled Banner", and the flag was proudly raised above the ship. But this morning's ceremony was not like the previous ones. Midway through .....

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