Today marks the 77th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. It is also marks the first time that a surviving member of the crew of the USS Arizona will not be in Hawaii to commemorate the event.
No one who survived the bombing of the USS Arizona battleship will be in the audience.
“This is the very first year,” said Daniel Martinez, historian with the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument.
Health issues and doctor’s orders prevented Lou Conter from coming.
“She said you cannot go. You better cancel out,” he said in telephone interview from his home in California.
Conter is 97. The handful of survivors of the battleship’s sinking are all in their 90s…
About 300 USS Arizona sailors survived Japan’s surprise attack.
Only five are alive: Conter, Don Stratton, Ken Potts, Lonnie Cook and Lauren Bruner.
The hatred and enmity between the two countries is in the past. Now you have survivors who fought on each side coming together in ceremonies like the Blacked Canteen ceremony which celebrates peace and reconciliation.