Alabama city pays tribute to brothers who died in Pearl Harbor attack

A memorial to brothers Daniel P. Jones and Woodrow Wilson Jones, men who died aboard the USS Arizona on December 7, 1941, was unveiled in Coaling, a town in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, on Friday November 12 2021 (Gary Cosby Jr./The Tuscaloosa News via AP)

COALING, Alabama – The town of Coaling held a ceremony on the morning of November 12 to dedicate a monument in honor of two Native sons who died in the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

Woodrow Jones, 22, and Daniel Jones, 19, from Coaling enlisted in the Navy in early 1941 and were posted to the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor Naval Station in Oahu, Hawaii.

On December 7, 1941, the Japanese launched a surprise air attack on Pearl Harbor, killing 2,403 American servicemen and 68 civilians. More than half of those killed in the attack were aboard the USS Arizona, including Woodrow and Daniel Jones.

Jamie Jones, one of the many relatives of the Jones brothers present at the ceremony, thanked the town of Coaling for dedicating the monument to his great uncles.

“This monument will stand firm for years and years to come, reminding us and our loved ones how blessed we are to have soldiers, so that we can have the life the Lord has intended for us.” , said Jamie Jones.

The USS Arizona was sunk in the attack on Pearl Harbor and the bodies of the Jones brothers have never been found.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared December 7, 1941 as “a date that will live in infamy” and the attack led to the entry of the United States into World War II.

The ceremony took place at Coaling Town Hall one day after the national Veterans Day celebration. Nicolas Britto, a retired army lieutenant colonel, hosted the ceremony with city officials, local veterans and descendants of the Jones brothers.

Coaling Mayor Gary Averett said the dedication ceremony was special for him and for the whole city.

“Our town has a lot of veterans. We’re pretty much a family-like community. And so things like this mean a lot to the people here,” Averett said.

Averett, who is a retired Army Reserve Master Sergeant, said he had known the Jones family his entire life and they attended the same church in Coaling.

Although the Jones brothers died long before most of their surviving family members were born, the family say they keep the memory of Woodrow and Daniel alive by sharing the story of their military service and what that service meant. for the country.

Brookwood High School faculty and students also participated in the ceremony, with contributions from the school’s Junior ROTC and a performance by the school choir.

Brookwood High principal Kelly Hubbard said the event was a great learning opportunity for her students, while also giving students the opportunity to show off their talents. Hubbard added that she wants her students to learn more about members of the community and those who have served their country.

About Jefferey G. Cannon

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