Somber tribute at Pearl Harbor
Survivors gathered Thursday at the site of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor to remember fellow servicemen killed in the early-morning raid 76 years ago.
About 20 survivors attended the event overlooking the harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial. They were joined by several thousand Navy sailors, officials and members of the public.
Gilbert Meyer, who lived through the 1941 Japanese bombing, said he returned because of his shipmates from the USS Utah — and to pay his respects and say a prayer for them.
Meyer, 84, who lives near Lytle, Texas, was an 18-year-old fireman first class on Dec. 7, 1941 when a torpedo hit the port side of the Utah.
He said he’s still alive because he happened to be on the ship’s starboard side.
“I think about my shipmates and how they were killed. It reminds me that we’re lucky we got off and we’ve made a good country for them,” Meyer said.
Author Steve Twomey delivered the ceremony’s keynote address. Twomey wrote the book “Countdown to Pearl Harbor,” which examines the 12 days leading up to the Dec. 7, 1941 attack.
After a moment of silence at 7:55 a.m., the same time that the attack began on Dec. 7, 1941, four F-22 jets from the Hawaii Air National Guard flew overhead.
More than 2,300 servicemen were killed in the assault. Nearly half were on the USS Arizona, which exploded and sank after it was hit by two bombs.