WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A solemn and sincere tribute to the fight at Pearl Harbor was held in Wilmington today. The ceremony at Battleship Park launched at the same time when the first wave of Japanese aircraft hit Pearl Harbor, 7:55 a.m. Hawaii time.
Bud Hollenbeck was serving with the Navy on the USS Pennsylvania. He says at that age he felt invincible.
“I wasn’t scared. When you’re young you can do anything,” Hollenbeck said. That’s why the young fight the wars.”
Hollenbeck says he still tries to understand the motive that day. The brains behind the attack was Japanese General Yamamoto.
“I think he just wanted to show the world that Japan was a world power and so forth because he knew darn well we couldn’t take off after them. His explanation was well we want to keep them from coming after us for six months. We weren’t going after them. We couldn’t make it in six months,” Hollenbeck said.
Memories are felt and seen in the minds of those fighting that day for America. Survivor Harold Garrish was standing right near the Arizona when she was bombed.
“At that moment the entire Arizona burst into flames and I said she’s gonna blow and I tucked behind a tree and she blew up,” Garrish said.
As the years go on, the number of veterans from that attack has started to fade. Garrish is thankful people honor those still living.
“Some people haven’t forgotten and it’s a day I don’t think they should ever forget,” Garrish said.