Pearl Harbor Survivors Reflect On Historical Day

By: Venton D. Blandin
By: Venton D. Blandin

December 7, 2005

Wednesday marks a somber anniversary, 64 years, since the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. The attacked caused President Roosevelt to declare the start of World War II.

Eight battleships and 13 naval vessels were sunk, or badly damaged, almost 200 American aircraft destroyed, and almost 3,000 military personnel were killed, or wounded on December 7, 1941.

"December 7, 1941, a day which will live in infamy," said President Franklin Roosevelt.

One day later, President Franklin Roosevelt went before the congress to ask for a declaration of war.

They are older men and woman now, with canes, glasses, and great grandchildren. On December 7th, 1941 they were teenage patriots in uniforms who watched in horror and ran for their lives as Japanese bombers and fighter planes attack Pearl Harbor early one Sunday morning.

"It was one hell of day [because of] all the damage and everything, and the killing and everything," said George Frazier, a Pearl Harbor Survivor.

The Liberty Bell Chapter of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, in Philadelphia, used to have 164 members in its ranks. Now, the service men and women stationed in Hawaii at the start World War II, are left with only 42. The members of the association think about America at war right now, and today's troops that are in harm's way.

"Many of us support the American troops that are over there, but it is a question mark about this war. How far it is going, and where it is going," added Frazier.

Some troops have mixed opinions about the war, and the perception that the United States does not belong in Iraq.

"99% of the Iraqi people want the Americans to stay, but it is the 1% that has the 100% of the media here trying to get us out of there," said Alexander Horanzy.

For years, the number of Virginians who died in the attack on Pearl Harbor has been fixed at 27. Now, because of the diligence of a researcher at the Library of Virginia, the names of 14 more Virginians have been added to the roll of honored dead.

2,000 sailors, veterans, community leaders and guests bowed their heads in Hawaii this morning in remembrance at the spot where the Japanese planes attacked the United States 64 years ago.

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