Every year since 1964, the Pearl Harbor survivors and their families have memorialized Pearl Harbor Day by relighting the historic Beacon atop Mount Diablo's summit. The “Eye of Diablo” as it’s known, was extinguished in 1941 just after the attack on Pearl Harbor. In 1964, Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz, Commander in Chief of Pacific Forces during World War II, relit the Beacon the first time and suggested it be lit every December 7th to honor those who served and sacrificed.
Listen to Emily Prusso's perspective and discovery of the Eye of Diablo from KQED Radio's Perspectives.
The Beacon was originally lit by Charles Lindbergh in 1928 to assist in the early days of commercial aviation. The Beacon shined from the summit of Mount Diablo each night until December 8, 1941, the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor. It was not relit until December 7, 1964, when Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz, Commander in Chief of Pacific Forces during World War II, attended a ceremony on Mount Diablo’s summit in commemoration of the survivors of Pearl Harbor. He suggested it be lit every December 7th to honor those who served and sacrificed.
Since that day in 1964, the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association and now the Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors with co-sponsor Save Mount Diablo have memorialized Pearl Harbor Day by turning on the summit Beacon atop Mount Diablo. The Beacon now shines on that single night each year.
The “Eye of Diablo” is one of the last remaining working Beacons from the transcontinnetal string of guides. For many years it recieved little to no , leaving it in The Beacon was in significant disrepair, and earlier this year Save Mount Diablo partnered with many community members to undertake the task of its restoration.
The Pearl Harbor Survivors would like to know that the Beacon will shine long after they are gone.
The restoration project is complete and the Beacon was returned to its post on Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013 after recieving some much needed repairs. This project could not have been completed without the efforts of numerous talented volunteers, businesses and individuals who stepped up to ensure this historic Beacon continues to shine for many years to come.
We reached our fundraising goal of $100,000 thanks to the contributions of hundreds of individual and businesses donors, and a $50,000 matching grant from the Dean and Margaret Lesher Foundation!
Assemblymember Buchannan wrote and helped pass legislation to allow non-profit Save Mount Diablo to oversee the work and fundraising for the Beacon Restoration Project on behalf of California State Parks. Many businesses have stepped up to volunteer services for the project. Shell Refinery in Martinez and Maxim Crane donated a crane and rigging crew to safely lift the Beacon off the Summit Building so work could begin. Local companies like Redwood Painting and Global Village Construction are helping to provide some of the services and expertise for the Beacon’s repairs. To help raise the funds needed to properly rehabilitate the Beacon, Chevron created a Public Service Announcement about the project, and the Dean and Margaret Lesher Foundation offered to match donations up to $50,000 to help reach the $100,000 goal.
Together, these private, public and non-profit partners are hoping to ensure that the Beacon will shine over the community for generations to come in remembrance of those who gave their lives for us at Pearl Harbor.
Watch our 60 second video about the Beacon Restoration Project funded by Chevron.
Thank you to all of our donors for helping to restore the “Eye of Diablo” so it can continue to shine in the years to come in honor and memory of the heroes that served at Pearl Harbor. The restoration would not be possible without the donated funds, services, equipment and time of our many supporters. Any remaining funds after the restoration will be used for future Beacon maintenance, helping to preserve the Beacon for years to come.
See photos of the restoration and read more about the Beacon below.
Listen to the KCBS report about the Beacon Restoration.
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