Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Marked by Veterans

Battleship Row, as seen by Japanese pilot during the attack.

Battleship Row, as seen by Japanese pilot during the attack.

Two of the nation’s oldest veterans – who fought in the Pacific 70 years ago – were among those in attendance at Pearl Harbor  to mark the Japanese attack  Dec. 7, 1941.

Stars and Stripes reporter Leo Shane III writes:

It’s a heartwarming photo op, but also a sign of the nation’s fading ties to the Greatest Generation and a warning to the Sept. 11 generation that the mantra of “never forget” grows more difficult as the years pass.

The veterans — Richard Overton and Elmer Hill — weren’t at the attack in Hawaii, but passed through the ruined Navy base later on their way to the fight. They survived kamikaze planes and sluggish, island-clearing combat to return home and build new lives in separate parts of Texas.

An aerial view during the Pearl Harbor attack.

An aerial view during the Pearl Harbor attack.

President Barack Obama signed a proclamation for Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day which reads in part:
In remembrance of Pearl Harbor and to defend our Nation against future attacks, scores of young Americans enlisted in the United States military. In battle after battle, our troops fought with courage and honor. They took the Pacific theater island by island, and eventually swept through Europe, liberating nations as they progressed. Because of their extraordinary valor, America emerged from this test as we always do — stronger than ever before.

We also celebrate those who served and sacrificed on the home front — from families who grew Victory Gardens or donated to the war effort to women who joined the assembly line alongside workers of every background and realized their own power to build a brighter world. Together, our Greatest Generation overcame the Great Depression, and built the largest middle class and strongest economy in history.

You can read the full proclamation here.

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