The anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor is just behind us, and I probably should have posted an update as a rememberance. I feel like I dropped that ball. After all, if Pearl Harbor had not been attacked, would our forces have been involved in WW2 as they were? How would history have played out if the Japanese had not gone on the offensive? That being said, there was an article in our local paper that stuck with me about a veteran and his monumental effort to serve the men who died that day. I believe this gentleman needs a few more kudos. His name is Ray Emory, a resident of Honolulu. Ray is 91 years old, a survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor. This article stuck with me because in it I learned that there are over 2,400 Americans who died during the attack are buried in a volcanic crater called the Punchbowl. The dead who could be identified have markers, but evidently these markers did not list the name of the ships on which they served. Other graves bore generic markers, because the bodies could not be identified. Ray has been on a 20 year campaign to do a couple of things. One, is to see that these men get new markers identifying them with the ship on which they served and died, and two, to exhume the remains of those who, with modern technology and forensic techniques, can be identified and work to return them to their families. The article in our local paper was written by Audrey McAvoy with the Associated Press, and can be found here:
Reading the article will tell you his story better than I can. I'm hoping Ray has many more years to continue his work, and that he has someone to pick up and continue when he cannot. CNN also posted an article, so here's that link: http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/06/us/pearl-harbor-anniversary/index.html
What an amazing man, among many amazing men and women who were witnesses to this horror. Some of the men from Strong were also at Pearl that day, among them Stanley Hoder, father of Andy Hoder who has been so supportive of this project. Stanley and others survived to fight another day, and for that we can be grateful.