Ceremony in Alameda honors Pearl Harbor survivors

December 7, 2012 12:12:10 PM PST
The U.S. Coast Guard is paying tribute to survivors of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on this 71st anniversary. The tragedy propelled America into World War II.

Crew members at the Coast Guard station in Alameda took a moment to reflect on a dark time in history; 71 years later the attack on Pearl Harbor remains a day that will live indeed live in infamy.

There was a 21 gun salute for three men who still remember that fateful day; they are the veterans who witnessed the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Today the Coast Guard paid tribute to them and the sacrifice made by thousands of others who lost their lives. The Pearl Harbor survivors now in their 90s, say they'll never forget the surprise attack.

"I was totally surprised the Japanese came that far away from home. I expected them to attack the Philippines," said Pearl Harbor survivor George Larsen.

"As we were going out you could see the ships roll in smoke and fire. As a 19-year-old, it's all new. I didn't know what to think," said Pearl Harbor survivor Clarance Byal.

There was a wreath laying ceremony to commemorate the time of the attack. 9:55 a.m. Tonight Pearl Harbor vets will light the beacon on top of Mt Diablo; the same beacon which guided American warplanes back into the Bay Area.

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