NEW ORLEANS – Saturday marked the 72nd Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
In the nation’s capitol, more than two-thousand people attended the wreath laying ceremony at the navy memorial.
The annual remembrance is dedicated to those who fought and died on December 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked the U.S. Navy base in Hawaii. Roughly 2,500 service members were killed that day.
The attack pulled America into WWII.
In New Orleans, Pearl Harbor Day takes special significance. The City is home to the WWII Museum, a place dedicated to preserving the legacy and history of those who fought in the war.
For one local veteran, who survived the attack on Pearl Harbor, the memories of that day are very vivid.
James Womack, a veteran living in Houma, La, was present for the Pearl Harbor remembrance ceremony at the WWII museum. He was among a handful of veterans from that era who were recognized for their service during the ceremony.
For Womack, Pearl Harbor day goes beyond remembering. For him, it is reliving.
“It still hurts to think about it,” said Womack.
Womack was 21-years-old when the Japanese attacked the navy base on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. Today, despite the pain, Womack is able to recall the day with a bit of humor.
“We were still in bed when the fun started,” said Womack.
While other vessels were on fire, the ship Womack was serving on, the USS St. Louis, managed to escape. It was later nicknamed the “The Lucky Lou.”
“Really, I’m thinking how god blessed me to bring me through it. Terrible things happened that day. So many terrible losses,” said Womack.
With each passing year, the ranks of the proud members of a generation who sacrificed so much are dwindling. But for veterans like Womack remembering the attack on Pearl Harbor is their way of honoring fellow servicemen who are no longer with us.