Time is running out to look a survivor of Pearl Harbor in the eye and thank him or her, but there will an opportunity in Santa Rosa on Monday.
The corps of veterans who were on Oahu at the time of the Japanese attack in 1941 has dwindled so that only five or six may be up to attending the memorial breakfast and ceremony that will start at 8 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial Building. If you’d like to eat with members of Chapter 23 of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, it will cost you eight bucks.
The simple memorial program that starts at about 9:15 is free and the vets are happy for members of the public, young and old, to come share in it. That Sunday morning in Hawaii was a defining day in their lives, and in the history of this country, and it pleases them to see that there are people who still think it has relevance.
The program’s keynote speaker will be another survivor, Santa Rosa resident Jean-Marie Heskett. She was 6 when Japanese forces invaded the Philippines shortly after the Pearl Harbor attack and forced her and her family into a prison camp where torture and starvation were routine.
She shares a lot of traits with the Pearl Harbor vets. They’re grateful and forgiving for the most part and they’re astonished that the major event of their lives happened 68 long years ago.