Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

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  • Ann Anderson

    Ward J. Anderson, my father-in-law, was stationed at Wheeler Field and was witness to the first bomb dropped that morning as they came through the mountain pass on Wheeler Field. My husband says in the years he was growing up, Dad spoke little of the experience. As the years ensued, he acknowledged his pride in his service and his "small" part in the war effort. He is a kind, thoughtful, and pretty humble man, now 92 and dealing with the ever-present issues of memory and aging. He took the family to Hawaii in 2010 for the anniversary and it was an honor and indescribable moment to stand at Wheeler Field and have him show us where he was, where the bombers came through, and describe a bit (never much) of what ensued after the attack. We also visited the Arizona Memorial where he stood with his son and grandson, sometimes tearfully, and looked at the wall of honor, or stared into the water at the ever-present oil slick, or he posed for photos that tourists asked of him. It is an unforgettable time and the photos we have of Dad, my husband, his two daughters, and his grandson and grandduaghter-in-law to be. at Wheeler Field, are so very special. To share that time with him was indescribable. Though he survived that time, we realize that many others —- MANY others — lost their lives, and we are truly grateful of their sacrifice and that of their families. To all who served, our heartfelt thanks, and to those whose lives have been lost during the attack, may God bless you, and give you eternal rest and peace. To those families that have suffered and had to accept their loss, my husband and I are saddened for your loss then and now. Thank you to all WWII veterans – at Pearl, in the Pacific or European Theatres. We are forever grateful and fully and forever cognizant of your sacrifices.