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Pearl Harbor Day remembered

By Staff | Dec 9, 2014

Among those telling and listening to events surrounding Pearl Harbor day were (seated): Janet Kohler, (standing left to right): Colton McLaughlen, Addison Smith, Grayson Smith, Bryson Chilson, and (rear) Anita Wagner.

“The day which will live in infamy,” December 7, 1941 when Pearl Harbor was bombed, was remembered 73 years later on the same date at the East Lycoming Historical Society. Holding a picture of the USS Nevada, one of the ships sunken during the attack, Vice President Anita Wagner shared a brief history of the event. She said, ” A month prior to the attack, Japanese Emperor Hirohito approved the plan sending in two waves, 353 fighter planes loaded with bombs. In ninety minutes, 16 vessels and 188 aircraft were destroyed with 1,179 American lives lost.”

Wagner also said, “We all know of the attack, but do we know why? The Japanese wanted to prevent the United States from interfering with their military action in the US held Philippines, the Dutch East Indies and British Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. The US military mistakingly thought Japan’s target would be the Philippines, so the strike on Hawaii was a surprise.”

Japan was wrong about the Americans; they rebounded quickly and would send troops and weapons all over. It truly was a world war fought on many fronts.

Present Sunday at the museum was Janet Kohler who shared her memories of the infamous day. “I remember the next morning radios were brought to school and we listened to the news hearing President Roosevelt declare war that day following the attack.” At the time, Kohler was a senior at Hughesville High School.

Listening intently were four boys from Montoursville. Among them, Addison and Grayson Smith, descendants of at least two WWII veterans, the late George Amos Smith and Leonard Boatman.