May 21, 2018

Pacific Fleet Commander: Pearl Harbor Response Had No Shortage of Bravery

08 December 2017, 01:42 | Clyde Nash

Numerous ceremonies held in St. Louis area in remembrance of Pearl Harbor

Flags Fly at Half-Staff in Remembrance of Pearl Harbor Attack

Few of those who were at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 are still alive; only a handful were able to attend the memorial ceremony at which Washington Redskins president Bruce Allen and other dignitaries extolled their virtues and celebrated their heroism.

The saying is "remember Pearl Harbor" but for these area Veterans, how could they ever forget it changed their lives. The president also promised them his administration would build up the military.

Thursday is the 76th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

"It's these folks, the Pearl Harbor veterans, the World War II veterans who have paved the way for our success on the battlefield and throughout the world", Mitch Day, the Senior Vice Commander of Post 4008, said.

And then he saw the scene we've all come to associate with Pearl Harbor but Walter Pasiak was a 19-year-old witnessing all these horrors right in front of him.

More than 2,300 servicemen died in the attack.

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"We put up the first radar units outside the United States and that was the ones that picked up the Japanese planes", said Richard Schimmel of Allentown. "I went down to the mess hall on the second deck and they had a big old radio in there and they had the news on it and the first thing I heard was that the Oklahoma was on fire and the West Virginia was still fightin'".

"When we got to Pearl Harbor, all the women and kids had been sent back to the United States, and it was so sad", Bell remembers.

About 2,000 officials, military members and others are attending the ceremony.

"The importance of the day is not only to remember the supreme sacrifice that servicemen have made", said retired Maj.

Two of the U.S. Navy's eight battleships stationed at Pearl Harbor were completely destroyed in the surprise attack, the USS Arizona and USS Oklahoma. Roosevelt's Executive Order 9066 paved the way for more than 110,000 of them to be forced from their homes and imprisoned behind barbed wire during the war. "I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again".

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