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New Doris Miller Memorial reliefs to be featured in Pearl Harbor 80th anniversary ceremony in Waco
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New Doris Miller Memorial reliefs to be featured in Pearl Harbor 80th anniversary ceremony in Waco

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Fog at Doris Miller Memorial

Fog envelops the Brazos riverfront Thursday morning around the Doris Miller Memorial, where the 80th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack will be commemorated Tuesday. Newly installed bronze reliefs at the memorial also will be unveiled.

The 80th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack will be observed Tuesday in a ceremony at the riverside Doris Miller Memorial, where new bronze plaques depicting the hometown hero will be unveiled.

The ceremony is set for 11:55 a.m. Tuesday, the exact time Japanese planes attacked U.S. ships in Hawaii, setting off the U.S. entry into World War II.

The ceremony will feature remarks from local leaders along with relatives of Miller, the Navy messman who crossed the color line to rescue his shipmates on the USS West Virginia on Dec. 7, 1941.

Bronze reliefs designed by sculptor Eddie Dixon and newly installed around Dixon’s statue of Miller will depict the hero’s upbringing in a Waco sharecropper’s family, his days as an athlete, and his action to drag the mortally wounded ship captain to safety during the raid. Miller was awarded the Navy Cross for his bravery, which also included firing anti-aircraft guns at Japanese planes and rescuing shipmates who had fallen overboard.

The ceremony will feature remarks from Miller family representative Thomas Bledsoe Jr. as well as Baylor University law professor Gerald Powell and former Ambassador Lyndon Olson, who were instrumental in making the memorial happen. McLennan County Commissioner Patricia Chisolm-Miller and Waco Mayor Dillon Meek will also participate.

Also in attendance will be members of an American Legion post in New York named for Miller.

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Managing editor

J.B. Smith is the the Tribune-Herald managing editor. A native of Sulphur Springs, he attended Southwestern University and joined the Tribune-Herald in 1997. He and his wife, Bethany, live in Waco and have two children.

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