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