Pennsylvanians are pausing to remember Pearl Harbor, 70-years after America came under attack. “We affirm our commitment to carry forward the lessons of that day to all who follow,” says Navy Rear Admiral (Select) John King , the keynote speaker at the state capitol remembrance program.
It was a time to honor the Pennsylvania survivors of the Pearl Harbor attack; one speaker called them the first of the Greatest Generation. Many were in attendance at Wednesday’s ceremony, including Richard Schimmel of Allentown. “It’s my country and I’d gladly die for it,” Schimmel tells Radio PA. “Every time I talk about it I get choked up.” Schimmel was just 19 on December 7th, 1941.
Donald Connor of Allensville, Mifflin County was a 22-year-old private getting ready for breakfast when he heard a bomb drop. “I looked out and saw the Japanese ball on the airplane,” Connor remembers. “That told me all that I needed to know.”
The survivors of that fateful day are America’s living history. 3,500 Americans were killed or wounded during the Pearl Harbor attack. Every December 7th is marked as Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.