Armed Forces Retirement Home veterans remember Pearl Harbor

Armed Forces Retirement Home veterans remember Pearl Harbor

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Veterans at the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Gulfport paused Friday morning to remember Dec. 7, 1941.

That, of course, was the day Pearl Harbor was attacked, drawing the United States into World War II.

Some members of the greatest generation have vivid memories of that day.

"Dec. 7, 1941. A date which will live in infamy," said the crackling voice of President Roosevelt as veterans at the ceremony listened to the historic broadcast.

The events of that fateful day impacted so many of their lives.

"As I look into the audience today, I see veterans of America's greatest generation. Young men and women from all walks of life were thrown into war that would alter the course of American history and the world as we know it," said keynote speaker John C. Beck.

Marvin Westcott and Harold McDaniels will never forget. They are among the Pearl Harbor survivors.

"We couldn't believe it. These battleships. Turned over. On fire. Sunk. Holy cow," said Westcott.

"Too young to fear for our life," said McDaniels.

"Your legacy lives on in our generation of today. As we, the Sept. 11, generation, deal with our own struggles of more than 12 years of fighting the war on global terrorism, your example continues to inspire all of us that serve and defend our great nation," said Beck.

Hugh Wingo was also at Pearl Harbor that day. His squadron had just returned from a mission to Wake Island.

"Shocked? I was completely shocked. All of us were at that time. For the next four or five days after that, we were chasing submarines," Wingo recalled.

"On this day, we will hold in our thoughts and prayers all those who suffered and perished during this attack, as well as the survivors," said AFRH ombudsman Paul Wise.

For those who lived through it, they will always pause to remember.

More than 2,400 Americans were killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor. Another 1,000 were injured.

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