Local Veterans remember Pearl Harbor - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Local Veterans remember Pearl Harbor

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A seemingly endless sea of names representing service men and women who lost their lives. 

Behind each name is a story.

Together they all felt the call to serve their country.

It's something those who came to pay their respects can relate to.

Jim Spencer served in the Navy during the Korean War, and recalls signing up with 5 of his friends. 

"I was sitting at the breakfast table. I was afraid to tell them. I was 19 years old but I respected my parents still. I said, dad I enlisted in the Navy today, well yesterday, and he said well I've been expecting it," said Spencer.

"My brother was drafted, he did serve in Vietnam. Other friends, at that time, most of us went one way or another, either drafted, or volunteered," said Jerry Randall who was an airmen in the Vietnam War.

Now some of those local vets who served years ago are gathering once again at this annual event in Creve Coeur. 

Veterans here tell us this memorial service is a little bit different.

It highlights those who lost their lives 76-years ago when Pearl Harbor was attacked.

"We reflect on a terrible situation that occurred. A lot of our fellow veterans they didn't make it back," said William Davies, the commander of Post 2.

And, for those who did, they still left with their own scars.

"I served with a couple of guys that were at Pearl Harbor. They still didn't want to talk about it. This was after the war but they didn't want to talk about it," added Spencer.

These memories were on the minds of many at this event as taps and bagpipes were played.

While they look back on the tragedy with sadness, Veterans we spoke to said they're filled with hope and pride when they see young men and women today in uniform. 

For more pictures from Thursday's event, click here.


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