Pearl Harbor Anniversary Ceremony Held At Downtown OKC Park - - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |


Pearl Harbor Anniversary Ceremony Held At Downtown OKC Park

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Seventy-Five years ago, the Japanese launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor sending the United States into World War II.

It was 75 degrees in Hawaii back on December 7, 1941 - much colder Wednesday in Oklahoma. But that didn't stop more than 100 people from coming out and remembering that day, including three men who were there.

“Smoke, you couldn’t see nothing,” recalled Clarence Gilbert. 

It's been 75 years, but the three Pearl Harbor survivors at Wednesday’s ceremony at Campbell Park in Oklahoma City still remember it clearly.

“I looked and said who the hell are those airplanes and then I said you know we could be at war and we sure as hell were,” said Lt. Col William P. Bonelli.

There are just a few left who can still share the stories of that horrible day.

“This plane flew over and I didn’t know what a red dot was on a plane,” remembered Ivan Stewart. “At about that time something dropped.”

Stewart was just 19.

“Hot air and shrapnel came at me, knocked me out for about a minute.”

Those at Wednesday’s ceremony paid tribute to the heroism of these men.

“Went down to all the battleships and pulled the men off the battleships,” said Stewart.

All three say they appreciate the ceremony, the growing number of people who come out to remember. But for them it's still difficult to think about.

“You start thinking back, that’s where you get in trouble,” said Gilbert.

Gilbert was in his barracks on December 7, he grabbed his bedsheets and used them to wrap up the men who were coming in from the sea.

“Every time I pull a sheet, I think about, it was bad. Every night.”

News 9 was told the last survivor of the USS Oklahoma that lived in Oklahoma died this year.

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