December Tradition: Lighting the Eye of Diablo

Head up Mount Diablo to pay tribute to the memory of Pearl Harbor.

Update: The lighting will take place at Cal State East Bay in Concord due to concerns of ice. 

50 YEARS OF MEMORY: The month of December and the lighting of lights come sundown is a duo that's as old as December and objects that could be easily illuminated. Winter is coming and we mark the passage by giving brightness to the night. But this ceremony isn't always about the season or the celebration. Very often, the lighting of a prominent lantern or landmark is very much about history and memory, and pausing to look back in solemnity and silence. That's just what people gather to do on Mount Diablo each Dec. 7, to mark the anniversary of Pearl Harbor. The tradition has been around since 1964, which means that Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014 will be the 50th anniversary.

THE EYE OF DIABLO: The beacon atop the Walnut Creek-close wilderness area was "extinguished in 1941 just after the attack on Pearl Harbor." The Commander in Chief of Pacific Forces during the war was the one who came up with the notion of lighting it again each Dec. 7, and it has become a way for both veterans and locals to pay tribute to lives lost and the memory of the event. If you're a Mount Diablo regular, you'll know that the beacon was recently renovated, making this its first relighting since its new buff-up. Its history extends well before World War II; it was once used for aviation, and Charles Lindbergh was behind its initial lighting in the late 1920s.

AFTERNOON CEREMONY: Be at Eye of Diablo beacon at 3:45 p.m. on Dec. 7 for this historic and peaceful gathering.

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