For The First Time In Years, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Won’t Have Any USS Arizona Survivors
It’s extra noteworthy that Everett Hyland, a Dec. 7, 1941, attack survivor who was on the USS Pennsylvania, will return the salute of a passing Navy warship at Friday’s anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Hyland, 95, will do so on behalf of all Pearl Harbor survivors and World War II veterans as the ship sails by the sunken USS Arizona.
That salute will be extra poignant because there are fewer and fewer survivors to render it themselves.
For the first time in many years, not a single USS Arizona survivor will be present for the 7:50 a.m. 77th commemoration on the back lawn of the Arizona Memorial visitor center.
A total of 1,177 men were killed, and more than 900 remained entombed in the battleship.
Just five crew are still alive: Lauren Bruner, 98; Lonnie Cook, 98; Ken Potts, 97; Lou Conter, 97; and Don Stratton, 96. Old age and failing health prevented even a single Arizona survivor from making the lengthy trip to Oahu this year.
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Daniel Martinez, chief historian for the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, which includes the Arizona Memorial, called it a “twilight” for the Pearl Harbor generation.
“We’re lucky to have five Arizona survivors left,” Martinez said. “At their age of 95-plus, it’s remarkable that they’ve had that longevity, and it keeps us still secured to the idea that someone could tell us what happened — because they witnessed it.”
But those eyewitnesses are “fading right before our eyes,” he said.
Longtime Honolulu resident Ray Emory, who fired back at attacking Japanese planes with a .50-caliber machine gun from the USS Honolulu, and who spent decades trying to identify Dec. 7 casualties buried as “unknowns” …read more
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