Archive Logo.jpg

December 07, 2006

And more memories fade away.

USS Oklahoma survivor Jerry Tessaro, left, shakes hands with fellow USS Oklahoma survivor Raymond Richmond during the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, USS Oklahoma Lobby Display Dedication ceremony at Naval Station Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Dec. 6, 2006. The ceremony is honoring the historic tie between the Pearl Harbor shipyard workers who aided in the rescue of 32 Sailors from the capsized ship in the days following Dec. 7, 1941. DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class James E. Foehl, U.S. Navy. (Released)


USS Oklahoma survivor Jerry Tessaro, left, shakes hands with fellow USS Oklahoma survivor Raymond Richmond during the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, USS Oklahoma Lobby Display Dedication ceremony at Naval Station Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Dec. 6, 2006. The ceremony is honoring the historic tie between the Pearl Harbor shipyard workers who aided in the rescue of 32 Sailors from the capsized ship in the days following Dec. 7, 1941. DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class James E. Foehl, U.S. Navy. (Released)

But this year's reunion holds an urgency that hasn't been part of gatherings past: Most Pearl Harbor survivors, nearing their 90s or even older, say it will be their final trip back to this place that changed the course of their lives and their nation forever. Event organizers--many of them children of survivors who are ailing or already have died--pragmatically are calling this the "final reunion." And survivors' extended families, including children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, are coming along to the reunion in unprecedented numbers to glimpse history firsthand through their loved one's eyes before the opportunity is gone.

Read the rest here.

And locally, it's fading here, too.

Survivors’ message expected to fade. Pearl Harbor veterans fear that, as they make this year’s local remembrance their last. By BRIAN BURNES The Kansas City Star The goal of those who survived the attack on Pearl Harbor: Keep everyone else from forgetting the Japanese attack of Dec. 7, 1941.

That will be harder to do after Thursday. At 10 a.m., local survivors who have been organizing an annual anniversary remembrance will hold their last observance of the event that ushered America into World War II.

Time has greatly thinned the ranks of the Kansas City Metro Chapter III of the national Pearl Harbor Survivors Association. Those still alive are getting too old to organize the annual event or, sometimes, to attend it.

So Thursday’s observance at the Sylvester Powell Community Center in Mission, they say, will be the final chapter.

“We think it’s been valuable for people who hadn’t known anything about Pearl Harbor,” said Jack Carson of Overland Park, who left last weekend for Hawaii to attend ceremonies marking the attack’s 65th anniversary. “We’ve invited schoolchildren and everyone else.

“But we are all getting old now, and it’s almost too much to get anything done.”

Read the rest here. I almost caused an early decrement to the number of Pearl Harbor survivors. I was driving from Fort Sill to Fort Leavenworth for a conference, and I passed a car with an older couple in it on the turnpike. The car had a Pearl Harbor Survivor license plate. I was in uniform, as I was going straight from the car into a meeting.

As I passed, I saluted. The driver, somewhat startled, returned the salute. And almost drove off the road. So, ma'am, if you're still out there and you visit the Castle - I apologize for causing your husband to scare you witless. At least that's what I assumed you were saying, but it was hard to tell from all the wild gesticulating going on...

Comments on And more memories fade away.
Post a comment









Remember personal info?