A sailor from Orosi will be on duty at Pearl Harbor on Wednesday, the 75th anniversary of the attack that catapulted the United States into World War II.
Petty Officer 1st Class Garrett Bowman, a 1999 graduate of Orosi High, is stationed at Pacific fleet headquarters at Pearl Harbor.
He is responsible for transporting visitors to the USS Arizona Memorial, piloting a 78-foot tour boat from shore, a job he’s held for two years.
Ferrying people to the Arizona has always been a special duty, he said.
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“To be able to be that person to get everyone to and from, it’s a big honor,” he said. “Especially Pearl Harbor survivors, Arizona survivors and World War II survivors, being able to have the honor of taking them out.”
Being there for Pearl Harbor Day is sure to be memorable, he said.
“It’s just a huge honor to take part in all the ceremonies and to take folks out to the Arizona and to the memorial,” he said. “We actually get to see the December 7th ceremonies, which a lot of people don’t get to do.”
He said he is proud of his Navy duty because it involves leading other sailors and mentoring them.
He is the son of Daniel and Beulah Bowman of East Orosi. He said he signed up while still in high school, expects to serve 20 years and will be in Pearl Harbor for another year but does not know his next assignment.
Bowman isn’t the only Valley product participating in activities relating to Pearl Harbor.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Talisha Williams of Fresno greeted Pearl Harbor survivors last week as they arrived at Honolulu International Airport. More than 100 World War II veterans, including Pearl Harbor survivors, arrived in Hawaii to take part in ceremonies.
On Dec. 7, 1941, four ships were hit by Japanese bombs and sank. The Arizona was hit about 15 minutes into the attack, killing 1,177 sailors and Marines on board, according to the National Park Service’s USS Arizona website.
“It’s important for those of us serving in Pearl Harbor today to remember the sacrifice of those who served before us,” said Adm. Scott Swift, commander of the Pacific fleet. “The important work we do everyday honors those who were here 75 years ago and is a testament to the enduring value of our Navy’s mission.”
Today, Pearl Harbor is home to more than 19,000 sailors, 11 surface ships, 19 nuclear-powered submarines and 19 aircraft, the Navy said.