Dec. 7 marked 74 years since the United States was attacked by Japanese military forces at Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii.
Veterans and supporters gathered in the Clovis Veterans Memorial District building for a Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day ceremony that paid tribute to the victims of the attack — and its survivors.
The event, sponsored by VA Central California Health Care System, Veterans of Foreign Wars District 9 and Auxiliary, CVMD and Veterans Service Organizations, featured guests from all over the Valley.
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1981 from Madera posted the colors and Navy service members stationed in Lemoore placed a red, white and blue wreath to honor Pearl Harbor victims.
Henry LeMay, a Korean War veteran and Purple Heart recipient, sang the national anthem. Ken Bain, a U.S. Navy and Korean War veteran, played “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes and Reggie King played taps.
Three Pearl Harbor survivors were present at the event: Ed Waldron, U.S. Navy Machinist 1st Class, U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Elmer Wright and Chuck Lishman, who served as a watertender in the U.S. Navy.
Each was presented with a single, white rose from current servicemen.
Lishman said remembering the past can prepare us for the future.
“It’s good to remember,” he said. “You need to stay awake; stay alert.”
At age 95, Lishman said he is thankful that he survived the Pearl Harbor attack and that he has spent nearly 75 years married to his wife, Dorothy.
“The Lord’s blessed me,” he said. “He’s been saving me for something, but he’d better hurry because I’m getting too old!”
Lishman gives this advice to current servicemembers -- and everyone else:
“Be thankful for what you have, really. And count your blessings. You get a lot of blessings you don’t even know you get.”