Remembering Pearl Harbor: Task Force in Branson honors veterans with ceremony

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The city of Branson is taking time to remember Pearl Harbor with a ceremony at the Paddle Wheel Restaurant off Lake Taneycomo.

Bob Smither is the treasurer of Branson’s Veterans Task Force, but he is also a retired military musician for the United States Military Academy Band at West Point.

“We had a firing party from the Branson Veterans of America 913,” said Smither. “We laid a wreath in Lake Taneycomo, and I was able to play taps.”

Smither played his trumpet at the ceremony and said it’s important that history is taught to the next generation.

“One of our main focuses is to teach our children the value of freedom,” said Smither. “We don’t want to never forget what made America strong, and it’s not that we need wars to make us strong, but that particular attack 79 years ago woke a sleeping giant.”

Jim Monaghan, a veteran and purple heart recipient, is spending Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day with his grandson, Sean Steinkornig, at Branson’s Veterans Memorial Museum.

“I think it’s important for us to remember not so much of the guys that are quote heroes because the ones that are heroes are the ones who did not come back,” said Monaghan.

Steinkornig says he will carry these lessons from his grandfather for the rest of his life.

“Honor mostly,” said Steinkornig. “He’s taught me to respect those who have served.”

The Veterans Task Force will host more events in the month of December, such as laying wreaths at Ozarks Memorial Park on Dec. 19. Other events can be found on the Task Force’s website.

KOLR10’s Reporter Jacob Blount took photos of Pearl Harbor back in 2019. Those can be viewed below:

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