US and Japanese Veterans Share Stories - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

US and Japanese Veterans Share Stories

Zenji Abe Zenji Abe
Don Stratton Don Stratton
Survivors of Pearl Harbor Survivors of Pearl Harbor
Zenji Abe is one of many survivors who is attending the 65th anniversary of Pearl Harbor Zenji Abe is one of many survivors who is attending the 65th anniversary of Pearl Harbor

by: Diane Ako

WAIKIKI (KHNL)- The men who survived that fateful day recounted their stories of sadness and survival. 4 American sailors shared their personal recollections of where they were that morning on Battleship Row. Don Stratton was on the USS Arizona when it was bombed. He was one of the few who survived, and was burned over 60% of his body.

We also talked to Japanese military men. Zenji Abe was a dive bomber pilot who flew in the attack over Pearl Harbor. He was one of the few to survive the war.

No matter which side of the war the men fought on, they do have one thing in common now: adesire to keep the memory of Pearl Harbor alive. Says Stratton, "To keep this in front of the public is what I'm trying to do. I'm not a hero. The heroes are still on the ship. But I want to keep this in front of the public so it doesn't happen again."

Through a translator, Abe agreed. "People must study history for mankind to progress. If we did enough study of history, maybe things would be different with the Pacific War, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and so on."

Stratton says he still has not forgiven the Japanese veterans of World War II. Abe says he understands and respects that attitude, but feels there are many US veterans who have forgiven the Japanese. Abe says Americans are open minded and generous.

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