CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - A young sailor who paid the ultimate sacrifice to his country during the attack on Pearl Harbor will be remembered during a ceremony in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
Dec. 7 is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day and people in Cape Girardeau will meet at 11 a.m. at the Broadway flood gate to honor Lloyd Dale Clippard.
The 19-year-old sailor was the first World War II causality from Cape Girardeau.
He was on the USS Utah when it was bombed during Pearl Harbor.
Matt Hampton is the Senior Vice Commander at VFW Post 3838, which is founded under Clippard’s name.
Hampton thinks the young sailor was not only the first causality from Cape Girardeau but arguably on of the very first ones during World War II.
“According to the timeline the USS Utah was one of the very first ships to be hit in Pearl Harbor,” Hampton said. “Like everybody else he had no idea what was going to happen and it would be neat today to be able to ask his spirit what was going through his mind. I would love to know that but unfortunately we can’t. He is still there. He is still at Pearl Habor in the hull of that ship and will never come home."
Even though his body was never found Hampton said the city of Cape Girardeau still held a memorial service for Clippard a few weeks after the attack at the Teacher’s College, which is now Southeast Missouri State University.
“A lot of people thought the great war World War I was over and there would never be another war like it,” said Hampton. “Well then this attack occurred and it’s stirring up old feelings, and for a lot of those veterans those memories are starting to come back. It has a lot of impact to think here we are honoring somebody, and this just happened, and this is somebody from our hometown. This is someone who was from here, born here, raised here, went to school here. It’s not just a face on a wall, he was one of us.”
Hampton said he has a goal of honoring every single veteran from Cape Girardeau County on the anniversary of their deaths.
He is encouraging everyone who knows a local veteran to reach out to the VFW and share their stories.
Friday’s ceremony has been going on for more than three decades and is a collaboration between the American Legion Post 63, VFW Post 3838, local Marine Corps. League and The Disabled American Veterans.