On the 70th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor, survivors look back - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

On the 70th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor, survivors look back

(CNN) -- "Dec 7, 1941 -- a date that will live in infamy."

Those words, spoken 70 years ago, rang true then and still today.

The attack on Hawaii's Pearl Harbor plunged America into World War II.

The memories of that day are etched in the minds of those who survived.

"It was just a tremendous amount of explosions. Then the smoke. Then a little later on the fire on top of the water," said Pearl Harbor Survivor Mal Middlesworth.

The bombing was a surprise -- early on a Sunday morning.

Japanese planes swooped in and when it was over, some 2,400 American lives had been lost.

"I was so shocked I didn't really have much of a feeling. But I-- afterwards it haunted me," said Pearl Harbor Survivor David Callahan.

Today is the last time the anniversary will be commemorated with the "Pearl Harbor Survivors Association."

The group is disbanding at the end of the month.

With fewer survivors still alive, those who are left worry that the reality of the attack will die with them.

"There's only about a half page in the history book of Pearl Harbor. And half of that half page is a picture of the Arizona. So our youngsters don't understand what happened. They don't understand that freedom isn't free," said Middlesworth.

The Pearl Harbor Survivors Association was founded in 1958.

Another group, The Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors, says it will take up the baton when the survivors association disbands.

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