A record crowd is expected atop Mount Diablo Saturday for a ceremony marking the 72nd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, according to event organizers. The commemoration will be the first Pearl Harbor Day lighting of a newly restored beacon on the mountain’s summit.
Also known as the Eye of Diablo, Charles Lindbergh first lit the beacon in 1928 to help commercial aviators navigate the West Coast in the pre-radar era. After Pearl Harbor, fears of a Japanese attack on the mainland prompted authorities to turn off the beacon’s 1,500-watt bulb. The rotating beam was not turned on again until Dec. 7, 1964. For 49 years, the beacon has been lit from sunset on Dec. 7 to sunrise on Dec. 8 to honor those who served at Pearl Harbor in 1941.
Eventually the beacon started showing its age and Save Mount Diablo co-ordinated a Beacon Restoration Project , raising $100,000 to refurbish the light. In June, the aging beacon was removed from its perch and taken to Global Village Construction in Concord. It returned in October with new mirrors, a brighter bulb, new wiring, and a fresh coat of silver paint.
From Save Mount Diablo:
What: Save Mount Diablo, the Sons & Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors Association and California State Parks will light the “Eye of Diablo”, the Beacon atop Mount Diablo to memorialize Pearl Harbor Day for the first time since its restoration. The 49th annual beacon lighting takes place at sunset and the Eye shines brightly throughout the night. As the number of Survivors has decreased over the years, the number of people attending the ceremony in honor of these heroes has increased, including many sons and daughters vital to organizing the service.
When: Saturday, Dec. 7, 3:45 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Where: The ceremony will be held at the Summit Visitors' Building in Mt. Diablo State Park.
Access: Parking is available in the Lower Summit Parking Lot and can be accessed from either entrance to the Park. A shuttle service is provided by a volunteer from the lower lot to the Summit for those who would like a ride for the last quarter mile.
Cost: $10 per car park entrance fee to Mount Diablo State Park.