Vet­er­ans run­ning in re­mem­brance

Those who served in the mil­i­tary don’t want Pearl Har­bor at­tack to be for­got­ten

Orlando Sentinel - - SPORTS WEEKEND - By Stephen Ruiz

More than six decades af­ter the Ja­panese at­tack on Pearl Har­bor, the USS Ari­zona still spewed oil.

Tom Nett, 70, of Oviedo no­ticed that odd­ity about 15 years ago when he last vis­ited the site of the bomb­ing in Hawaii. More than 2,400 peo­ple died on Dec. 7, 1941, roughly half of them when the USS Ari­zona sank.

As Nett walked around the me­mo­rial, he not only ob­served the oil in the wa­ter but also bou­quets of flow­ers float­ing on top of it. He saw wreaths laid at a wall en­graved with the names of the dead.

“It’s im­por­tant that we re­mem­ber,” said Nett, who served 27 years in the Air Force.

This week­end, Nett and two other vet­er­ans with Central Florida ties will re­mem­ber the at­tack that brought the United States into World War II. On Satur­day — the 78th an­niver­sary of the bomb­ing of Pearl Har­bor — Nett and Navy veteran Jim Reed, 74, of Al­ta­monte Springs will wear shirts rec­og­niz­ing their re­spec­tive branches of ser­vice when they par­tic­i­pate in the 43rd an­nual OUC Or­lando Half Marathon.

For­mer Win­ter Park res­i­dent John MacIn­tyre, who rose to be­come a colonel in the Army, will do the same at the Rock ’n’ Roll San An­to­nio Half Marathon on Sun­day.

“[Pearl Har­bor is] not some­thing you think about ev­ery day or nec­es­sar­ily want to think about ev­ery day,” Reed said. “But for those of us who have been in the mil­i­tary or had fam­ily mem­bers in it, it’s im­por­tant that we re­mem­ber the ser­vice that these peo­ple gave to us.”

Reed de­vised the idea of hon­or­ing Pearl Har­bor while run­ning this week­end.

His ap­pre­ci­a­tion of mil­i­tary ser­vice was in­grained early. His great-great-grand­fa­ther, Ge­orge Reed, fought for the Union dur­ing the Civil War and was killed dur­ing the Bat­tle of Olus­tee in North Florida in 1864. Two of his un­cles served in World War II.

Reed spent four years in the Navy as a com­mu­ni­ca­tions techni

STEPHEN RUIZ/OR­LANDO SENTINEL

Navy veteran Jim Reed, left, and Air Force veteran Tom Nett are sched­uled to run the 43rd OUC Or­lando Half Marathon in re­mem­brance of Pearl Har­bor. Satur­day will be the 78th an­niver­sary of the Ja­panese at­tack that prompted the United States to en­ter World War II.

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