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6 Inspiring Stories From Those who Remember the Pearl Harbor Attack

The generation that remembers Pearl Harbor is fading. Fewer than 2 percent of the Americans who served in World War II are still alive. But some whose lives were forever changed that day can still share their tales. Here are a few of their stories.

Ken Potts, now 100, survived the sinking of the USS Arizona by jumping into the harbor as the ill-fated battleship was engulfed in flames. Nearly 1,200 of his fellow crew members weren’t as fortunate. Learn more about Ken Potts.

Julia Parsons, 100, was one of thousands of women whose little-known story of deciphering encrypted messages sent by the Japanese and German forces played a pivotal role in helping the Allies win the war. She remembers going to a friend’s house to give her a birthday present on the day of the attacks. “The radio was telling me about Pearl Harbor. I remember thinking, Where on earth is that? Little did I know that it would affect my whole life,” she said. Learn more about Julia Parsons.

One of the four remaining Navajo code talkers, Thomas Begay, now in his late 90’s, remembers traveling to Pearl Harbor late in the war to see some of the 800 messages that he and his fellow code talkers had transmitted on Iwo Jima. Learn more about Thomas Begay.

Harry Stewart, 97, remembers hearing neighbors saying the enemy would be out of Pearl Harbor in ‘no time.’ Four years later he was a Tuskegee Airman, in a cockpit above Nazi Germany. Learn more about Harry Stewart.

After the bombing at Pearl Harbor many of Terry Shima’s fellow Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps.  Instead, the now 98-year-old enlisted in what would become one of the most highly decorated U.S. fighting units. Learn more about Terry Shima.

Arguably one of the greatest living American fighter pilots from WWII and certainly the highest scoring living ace, Bud Anderson, now 99, recalls heeding the call of duty after the Pearl Harbor attacks. Learn more about Bud Anderson.

Read entire article at AARP