Thousands remember attack and response at Pearl Harbor - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Thousands remember attack and response at Pearl Harbor

Harold White Harold White
Thomas Griffin Thomas Griffin

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

PEARL HARBOR (KHNL) - Some carry physical scars, others emotional ones, from the attack on Pearl Harbor

67 years ago. Many of those survivors gather Sunday to reflect on the past.

"I got shot in the eye, come out the back of my ear, I'm a tin head on one side of my head, but I'm still sane, I still know you," Survivor Harold White said.

While many know about the deadly bombing in 1941, some may not be aware of the heroic response by military heroes.

That is why as thousands gather to reflect on the attack at Pearl Harbor, the brave efforts of those who fought at sea, on land and in the air are also remembered.

While many haven't survived the attacks, the ones who did, reflect on their experiences that day.

"I was a 12-year-old seaman on Ford Island," Survivor Houston James said. "Somebody came running through the barracks saying, war, war, get out, go to your battle stations. I went out there and looked up, battleship row and all, hell was breaking loose, torpedoes, bombers and all that and I was standing there in my skibbies."

In previous years, the focus was on the attack, but on Sunday, the response was brought to the forefront.

"Our people had every reason to believe that Japanese after the bombing of Pearl Harbor would continue westward," Doolittle Raider Thomas Griffin said.

Abilino Bagayas was a young boy when the surprise attack happened.

"I was 11 years old and I lived in Waipahu, we lived right on the hill just below the smoke stack and we could see the bombs coming down, the planes flying over us after they dropped their bombs," he said.

Other survivors were caught off-guard as well.

"I was sitting on the side of my bunk, looking at a new tattoo that I got while drunk the night before that I put on my arm and all of a sudden fire on utah and so we all went to the stations," White said. "Every time I go to the memorial, I get tears in my eyes, even though I wasn't on the Arizona at the time, something that hits me all of a sudden."

A survivor who recently passed away, got his wish. His ashes were spread at Pearl Harbor.

"It was the time of selflessness, it was a time of dedication and determination, a spirit that America should never forget," Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye said.

At 7:55 a.m., the exact moment the Japanese attack began 67 years ago, a moment of silence was observed.

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