Pearl Harbor Vets Due Special Honor

By Brady, R. H. | VFW Magazine, December 1997 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Pearl Harbor Vets Due Special Honor

Brady, R. H., VFW Magazine

Ashes of survivors in the attack on Pearl Harbor can be spread on nearby waters. Here's how it's done.

In 1941, the world was in turmoil. Germany was attacking its neighbors iri Europe. Asia was reeling under the aggression of Japan. Citizens of neutral nations, including Americans, were scrambling to escape the terror and make their way to safety.

Then, on Dec. 7 of that year, the United States was jarred into action by the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Suddenly, America was an integral part of the war, pouring its youth and materiel onto remote battlefields in heretofore unheard-of places around the globe.

Less than four years later, the war was over. Yet the nation has never forgotten the heartbreaks, the deprivations and the sacrifices of those years. In particular, we have never forgotten the shocking horror of that Sunday morning so many years ago when 2,402 Americans lost their lives to tyranny in and around Pearl Harbor.

Throughout the intervening years, untold millions have visited the nowtranquil waters of Pearl Harbor. Many have gone to learn and to honor those who fought there-and those who died there. But many others have gone to remember, for they are the ones who fought and survived there.

With advancing age, survivors are now reaching their evening years of life. The National Park Service, which administers the USS Arizona Memorial, has long honored those who survived the attack aboard the Arizona that day.

Some survivors have requested that their remains be lowered into the hull of the ship after their deaths so they might rejoin the more than 1,100 of their shipmates who died in the attack. Their requests have been honored with fitting ceremonies. The same is true for survivors who were aboard USS Utah, hidden away on the opposite side of Ford Island.


But what of the thousands more who fought through the attack on other ships or locations in the harbor? In glaring inequity, no such honor was available to them until now.

In July 1995, almost 50 years after the war ended, the U.S. Navy enacted a regulation which now permits the ashes of survivors of the attack to be spread on the waters of Pearl Harbor.

The first such survivor was honored in April 1996. Geryl F. Wells of Pine Valley, N.Y., had already died. He had told his wife Rosemarie of his desire to be returned to Pearl Harbor. So she contacted officials at the Pearl Harbor Naval Base. Plans were made to honor his wish, and she flew to Hawaii to be present for the ceremony.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Pearl Harbor Vets Due Special Honor


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?