Saturday, July 5, 2008

Goosebumps on a hot summer day...

We went to the parade yesterday. It was a great time. Everyone was enjoying the festivities. There was a lot of laughing and chatting.

Off in the distance, I could see an elderly gentleman in a wheelchair slowly making his way down the middle of the street. He was a survivor of Pearl Harbor. As he got closer to us, everyone got quiet. All eyes were riveted on this guy; it seemed like there was no noise... The man waved to us as he got closer. Suddenly the crowd erupted into cheers and applause and everyone jumped to their feet.

The man passed us and was followed by a few more Pearl Harbor survivors. The cheering continued for what seemed like several minutes. It was a very moving experience.

I stood for a second and then sat back down (I was holding a squirming two year old). I was sweating - it was so hot. I looked around - everyone else was sweating too. But, as I looked around, I noticed that everyone also had goosebumps.

It was a powerful moment...


Stacey said...

YES! The highlite of the parade. Each year the "walking" Pearl Harbor survivors gets fewer and fewer until this year there was only one...being pushed in his wheelchair. With just a few following in a few cars instead of the big truck they used to ride in the back of. Thanks Heidi for putting into words what I and all those around us were feeling. Thank God for the men and women who have in the past and currently are serving our country!

TetVet said...

America's oldest living Medal of Honor recipient, living his 99th year is former enlisted Aviation Chief Ordnanceman (ACOM), later wartime commissioned Lieutenant John W. Finn, USN (Ret.). He is also the last surviving Medal of Honor, "The Day of Infamy", Japanese Attack on the Hawaiian Islands, Naval Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Territory of Hawaii, 7 December 1941.

'Navy Centenarian Sailor', 103 year old, former enlisted Aviation Chief Radioman (ACRM, Combat Aircrewman), later wartime commissioned Chief Warrant Officer Julio 'Jay' Ereneta, U. S. Navy (Ret.) is a thirty year career veteran of World War One and World War Two. He first flew aircrewman in August 1922; flew rearseat radioman/gunner in the 1920s/1930s air squadrons of the Navy's first aircraft carriers, USS LANGLEY (CV-1) and USS LEXINGTON (CV-2).

View my photo album tribute to these veteran shipmates and other Pearl Harbor Survivors: