Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Sixty-nine years ago today, Japanese planes bombed Pearl Harbor. Numerous ceremonies are taking place across the country December 7, including in Wichita at the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center.
Arthur Dunn, a Pearl Harbor Survivor who served on the U.S.S. Oklahoma said, "You've heard the old analogy that people that forget, history will repeat itself." Well, it was a history that Dunn tried to forget. "It was about 40 years before I could talk about it."
Dunn was on board the U.S.S. Oklahoma 69 years ago on December 7, 1941. Following the attack, he found himself in the oil saturated water for more than two hours. He still can't remember everything.
"There were so many things happening, there is no way possible you can record that in your memory. You could not see it all, and even if you did, it was impossible to register all of that," Dunn said.
Like Dunn, shipmate Paul Aschbrenner survived. Something he still struggles to comprehend. "It was a day that I try not to remember too much about it because it brings up bad memories. One thing I can't understand why my life was spared and other lives were taken," Aschbrenner said.
Sixty-nine years later, these two heroes gather with hundreds more to remember a day that changed everything. "I look at this day as one of the most important days in the future of the United States. Your and my future changed because of this day 69 years ago today, " James Denison, event organizer said.
James Denison helped organize the ceremony not only to honor brave men like Dunn and Aschbrenner, but all who lived and died that day. And, for those who were not here, Denison hopes Pearl Harbor will represent a reminder to the American People. Denison added, "Keep America alert. Remember Pearl Harbor."