Pearl Harbor survivors from KY remember dark day

By Jon Chrisos - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Tuesday America remembers the day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor drawing us into World War II. It's been 69 years since the surprise attack in Hawaii killed more than 2300 Americans.

As we found out, this Pearl Harbor Day sees a shrinking number of soldiers and sailors who survived. At one time there were more than 100 Pearl Harbor survivors in Kentucky. Now there are only 18.

James Edwards from Louisville has a lot of memories and stories from that day 69 years ago. The 87-year-old vividly remembers December 7, 1941.

"We saw these planes come in, and we were debating what kind of planes they were. They were strange looking planes," Edwards said.

The Hawaiian island of Oahu was attacked at 7:55 in the morning by Japanese planes

"It just don't seem possible it's been that long ago cause I don't guess I'll ever forget what happened that day," Edwards said.

Edwards was in the Navy yard, headed with some other sailors to breakfast on what he now considers one the darkest days of his life. He and the other handful of Kentuckians who survived the attack still get together a couple times a year to share their stories and memories and remember those who didn't survive.

2,390 Americans died at Pearl Harbor December 7.

A government estimate puts the total number of survivors still alive around 3,000. Many of them were at the Pearl Harbor memorial in Hawaii Tuesday. They're being welcomed by a new $56 million welcome center.

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