With today being the 76th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, we thought it necessary to share the brave story of Ray Chavez, a San Diego man who is the single oldest survivor of that fateful December morning that will forever live in infamy. At 105 years old, Chavez will be honored today at the Pearl Harbor memorial in Honolulu, Hawaii. For those of you who are a bit rusty on your American history, the attack on Pearl Harbor was what prompted The United States to join the Allied powers in World War II against fascist aggressors like Germany, Japan, and Italy. Japan being the country that executed the attack on Pearl Harbor.
In an interview with KUSI, Chavez recounted his memories from the morning of December 7, 1941. He was a 29-year-old Navy minesweeper at the time who was attempting to sleep off an all-night shift. Thankfully, his wife was there to wake him up with the news:
"You couldn't see the ships that were on fire and the oil that they carried for fuel, it caught fire and all you could see was black smoke."
From that day forward, Chavez was responsible for taking troops in and out of combat zones in the South Pacific. He was later discharged in 1945, where he went on to live in San Diego, working as a landscaper and raising his family. It took Chavez nearly 50 years before he felt ready to discuss his experiences in the military. His daughter, Kathleen Chavez went on to say of those who serve in the military:
"They deserve every ounce of adulation and respect because if it wasn't for them, we'd be living in a whole, totally different United States and most people don't even stop to think about that."
We couldn't agree more with Kathleen's statement and today, we honor her father and all those who have fought to protect and serve this country. Take the time on this Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day to remember how blessed we truly are.
Lead Image Via KUSI News