Each year Naval Station Everett has a ceremony commemorating Pearl Harbor Day. I have attended a number of these events, and I am always honored to be in the presence of members of the greatest generation that are Pearl Harbor veterans. I have never much liked the term “Pearl Harbor Survivor” because these guys aren’t just survivors, they are warriors in every sense of the word. In the past, Erv Schmidt from our Post attended these ceremonies but his passing left another empty chair in the row of honored guests. Erv manned an anti-aircraft gun and returned fire even though his ship had been sunk and was resting on the bottom, fortunately right side up. I never thought Erv was a just a “survivor”.
Only a few of the “honored guests” chairs were occupied this year and I suspect that in the very near future, they will all be empty. In the meantime, the young sailors attending the event line up to have their pictures taken with the WWII veterans and it is a meaningful experience for both generations.
The Pearl Harbor Remembrance Ceremony happens every year. Next year it will be on a Monday, December 7th at 9:30AM. That should give each of you ample time to put it on your calendar and at-tend the ceremony. This is about giving respect to a small band of individuals who most likely will not be attending many more of these events.