Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Brings Together Veterans Who Served

Updated: 12/07/2013 6:02 PM
Created: 12/07/2013 1:31 PM
By: Katherine Johnson

At Saturday's Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Ceremony, George Vandersluis was one of two Pearl Harbor veterans in attendance.

"Yeah, we were right in the middle of it," he said, reflecting back on that day 72 years ago.

There are fewer survivors each year.

"I feel very proud and very happy," said Pearl Harbor Veteran Dick Thill. "But I'm sad too, because all my friends are probably dead."

This year, those two men represent the other Minnesotans who are no longer with us.  

After the traditional gun salute, through a few tear-filled eyes, total strangers made connections.  Thill was handed a picture of a man and exclaimed, "Yeah, I remember him!"  A woman had shown a picture of her father to the 90-year-old.  He immediately launched into memories of the man he served on the USS Ward with way back in the 1940's.

Listening to their stories, seeing the images and and making those connections to complete strangers proves two survivors may be a small number, but it makes a big difference. 

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