Published: Fri, December 08, 2017
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Veteran of Pearl Harbor Recalls Horror of that Day

Veteran of Pearl Harbor Recalls Horror of that Day

Willard Carleton Orr, a Bangor resident who died in Pearl Harbor.

The ceremony paid tribute to those who lost their lives during the attacks on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, including a "Missing Man" flyover formation, a Hawaiian blessing, wreath presentations from each branch of the armed forces, and the rendering of honors led by Chief Storekeeper (ret) Al Rodrigues, a Pearl Harbor survivor. The president also promised them his administration would build up the military.

Thursday's ceremony, which lasted more than two hours, included a 21-gun salute at the exact time of the attack and the ringing of a bell by each of the World War II veterans in the audience and then by everyone who had a relative fight in World War II.

Almost 60 Americans from IL died at Pearl Harbor that day, and after the attack, several thousand servicemen and women trained at Navy Pier. Held inside the historic Lake Norconian Conference Center, the event marked the 76th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

More than 2,300 servicemen were killed in the assault carried out by Japanese airplanes.

"I'm still in awe of what our country did in the following four years from that date", he said.

"We weren't at war yet, so we weren't prepared for them", said Stephenson.

"I have one of those caps that says "Pearl Harbor Survivor" on it", he said.

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"They fought. They bled". They began the ceremony at noon, which was 7 a.m.in Hawaii.

"Our role in the National Park Service is to preserve and illustrate our nation's history, so that everyone can learn our shared stories and ask themselves, 'So what do these events of the past have to do with me today in my times?' " said Michael Creasey, National Parks of Boston general superintendent and host of the commemorative service.

Mukoyama, a Chicago native of Japanese descent, became the first Asian-American in USA history to command an army division in 1986.

"If we had invaded the mainland, we would have lost a lot of troops", the Pearl Harbor survivor said.

He said the attack was a "bad mistake of misjudging" America.

"We are building up the military beyond what you ever thought. That's a lesson I'll never forget".

"He went from North Africa to Normandy, through France and into Germany and outside Berlin by the time the war had ended", said Thomas.

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