December 7, 2022, was a day of prayer, remembrance, and patriotism when dozens of community members and the media came together to honor Doris "Dorie" Miller. This was the 4th anniversary of a day (which coincided with Pearl Harbor Day) to honor Miller, an American hero.
Dorie Miller was an American Mess Attendant Third Class in the United States Navy at the Naval Recruiting Station in Dallas, TX. Mess Attendant was one of the few ratings open at the time to black sailors.
During the attack on Pearl Harbor, Miller manned anti-aircraft guns despite having no formal combat training. He was recognized by the Navy and awarded the Navy Cross for his actions. He was the first African American to be awarded the Navy Cross, the third highest honor awarded by the US Navy at the time, after the Medal of Honor and the Navy Distinguished Service Medal. The Navy Cross now precedes the Navy Distinguished Service Medal. Miller's acts were heavily publicized in the black press, making him an iconic emblem of the war for black Americans. Nearly two years after Pearl Harbor, he was killed in action when his ship, Lissome Bay, was sunk by a Japanese submarine during the Battle of Makin. An aircraft carrier that will be named after Dorie Miller is currently under construction, with an expected completion date in 2029.
The event, which was held at the American Legion post named after Dorie Miller, featured welcome and remarks by Post Commander Larry H. Colleton. Mr. Colleton and members of the Post are on a mission to inform and educate young students about the heroics of Miller.