‘FDR’ Appears in Police Escorted 1930s Ford Roadster


Delmas P. Wood, Jr., posing as former President Franklin D. Roosevelt, left, of Boynton Beach, walks into Veterans Memorial Park with Chris Salamone, posing as a Secret Service officer, right, of Delray Beach during the Pearl Harbor commemoration and dedication of the monument in Boynton Beach, Fla. on Tuesday, December 7, 2021. This year marks the 80th anniversary of the Japanese attack.

BOYNTON BEACH – The COVID-19 pandemic has cooled the mood and participation in last year’s remembrance of the Pearl Harbor attack at Veterans Memorial Park in Boynton Beach.

Bringing together a group of vets over 90 years old was nobody’s idea of ​​a good plan.

Things were different at the park Tuesday during an hour-long tribute to Pearl Harbor on the 80th anniversary of the strike of December 7, 1941.

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More than 25 WWII veterans attended the event, part of a crowd of around 100.

Even President Franklin D. Roosevelt introduced himself.

Delmas P. Wood, Jr., posing as former President Franklin D. Roosevelt, left, of Boynton Beach, gets out of his car with Chris Salamone, posing as a Secret Service officer, right, of Delray Beach during remembrance of Pearl Harbor and the unveiling of a Veterans Memorial Park on Tuesday in Boynton Beach.  This year marks the 80th anniversary of the Japanese attack.

Delmas P. Wood, Jr., posing as former President Franklin D. Roosevelt, left, of Boynton Beach, gets out of his car with Chris Salamone, posing as a Secret Service officer, right, of Delray Beach during remembrance of Pearl Harbor and the unveiling of a Veterans Memorial Park on Tuesday in Boynton Beach. This year marks the 80th anniversary of the Japanese attack.

Roosevelt, in the form of Boynton Beach resident Delmas P. Wood Jr., arrived in a 1930s Ford Roadster escorted by police and decked out in a gray suit and fedora. He recited his speech “A Day That Shall Live in Infamy,” which was delivered to Congress on December 8, 1941.

“We have a much bigger crowd this year,” said Tom Kaiser, a tireless veterans advocate who had the park. appointed after him in 2019. “Last year was very, very difficult. Today everyone sits together like family, that’s what we want. We’re almost like normal Americans again.”

The surprise attack eight decades ago killed 2,400 soldiers and civilians, injured around 1,000 and damaged or destroyed nearly 20 ships and more than 300 aircraft in less than two hours.

Delmas P. Wood, Jr., posing as former President Franklin D. Roosevelt, left, of Boynton Beach, poses for photos at the Pearl Harbor commemoration and dedication of a monument at the Veterans Memorial Park in Boynton Beach, Fla. On Tuesday, December 7.  2021. This year marks the 80th anniversary of the Japanese attack.

Delmas P. Wood, Jr., posing as former President Franklin D. Roosevelt, left, of Boynton Beach, poses for photos at the Pearl Harbor commemoration and dedication of a monument at the Veterans Memorial Park in Boynton Beach, Fla. On Tuesday, December 7. 2021. This year marks the 80th anniversary of the Japanese attack.

The next day, Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on Japan, and the request was approved.

Germany and Italy then declared war on the United States, which then entered World War II about two years after its start.

The Japanese used 353 planes, 35 submarines, two battleships and 11 destroyers in the strike, which began at 7:55 a.m.

About 40 survivors of the Japanese attack attended a memorial service at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial in Hawaii on Tuesday.

“After 80 years, we are still listening to you so that we never forget,” Boynton Beach Deputy Mayor Woodrow Hay said. “We will tell that to the next generation and the next generation and the generation after so that Pearl Harbor will always be remembered.”

Among the speakers for the day was Irwin Lebow, who was in his sophomore year at New York University and four days after his 70-year marriage began, when he was called to service.

Lebow was based in Corsica with the Army Air Corps and flew 93 missions as a pilot of P-47 Thunderbolt fighter jets.

Lebow reminded others that of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, only about 250,000 are still alive.

During Tuesday’s ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park, a marker was unveiled to honor those who served at Pearl Harbor.

jmilian@pbpost.com

@caneswatch

This article originally appeared on the Palm Beach Post: 80th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day: WWII Veterans at Boynton Beach


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