Coast Veterans Remember Pearl Harbor Attack

The new summer blockbuster movie "Pearl Harbor " takes us back to the day that changed history, Dec. 7, 1941. On that Sunday morning, squadrons of Japanese warplanes launched a surprise attack on U.S. armed forces at Pearl Harbor. The bombing turned a Hawaiian paradise into chaos.

John Kees was stationed on Ford Island Naval Air Station, in the center of Pearl Harbor. He was on liberty at the time, and watched in horror, as U.S. ships and planes came under attack. Kees says the Japanese planes were coming from all directions, and when he saw what was going on, he couldn't believe his eyes.

Kees says he walked across hangars that had blown up. He saw devastation, including planes that were on fire or destroyed and many people who were laying on the ground dead.

The bombing woke Lloyd Kneller from his sleep. He was also stationed on Ford Island, when the Japanese planes screamed over Pearl Harbor. The attack left 2,403 Americans dead.  Kneller says he wanted to kill the Japanese because that was the first thought that came to his mind at the time. He wondered why the attack had to happen.

The veterans have mixed feelings about whether to see the new "Pearl Harbor" movie. There's one thing they do agree on. They hope the film will remind everyone what a generation of Americans did to protect our nation and our future.

John Kees says so many young people these days don't know what Pearl Harbor is or what it means. He says there were a lot of sacrifices made, so we should do what we can to keep the story alive.

By: Trang Pham-Bui