For two veterans who were serving in the Navy during the Pearl Harbor attacks, the anniversary is about honoring the thousands lives lost and reflecting on the resiliency of our armed forces.
Friday’s ceremonies commemorating the 77th anniversary of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor brought together family and veterans to remember the attack that launched the United States involvement in World War II.
A ceremony at Battleship Cove in Fall River honored 98-year-old Freeman Johnson, a crew member on the USS St. Louis, who still remembers where he and his crew were when the first bomb went off on December 7, 1941.
“We were in the Navy yard, but we were at the end which is lucky because if we weren’t, we wouldn’t have been able to get out.”
The importance of reconciliation with Japan was a common theme among speakers and how far our countries have come since Pearl Harbor.
At a ceremony In North Kingstown, 94-year-old veteran Bill Clarke reflected on the impact the attacks have made on his life and the United States.
Clarke was just 17-years-old when the attacks happened, and is now a humble man of few words.
“I’m just happy to say I’m here,” Clarke said.
Both ceremonies today had wreath layings to honor those who died that tragic day. In all, 18 ships were destroyed and over 2,400 Americans were killed.