Pearl Harbor Survivor honored in Colorado Springs

By  | 

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV/AP) Community members and members from all five branches of the military gathered in Colorado Springs on Thursday in remembrance of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

A Pearl Harbor Survivor still in the Pikes Peak Region was in attendance. Donald Stratton was present as wreaths were presented by military members at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum.

Stratton was a 19-year-old Seaman First Class on the U.S.S. Arizona December 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked the U.S. Pacific Fleet. The Arizona took a direct hit with a bomb detonating in an ammunition storage area directly below Stratton’s battle station. With burns over two-thirds of his body, Stratton managed to pull himself through the raging flames to safety aboard the nearby U.S.S. Vestal which had been tied to the Arizona in the harbor.

Pearl Harbor survivors, dignitaries and the public are remembering those killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor 77 years ago.

About 20 Pearl Harbor survivors observed a moment of silence at 7:55 a.m. Friday during a ceremony at Pearl Harbor. That's the same moment the bombing began on Dec. 7, 1941.

The youngest of the survivors are now in their mid-90s but most stood to salute for the national anthem.

U.S. Indo-Pacific Command Commander Adm. Phil Davidson told those gathered the nation can never forget the heavy price paid with 21 vessels damaged or sunk, 170 planes destroyed and more than 2,400 killed including servicemen and civilians.

He says these losses did not break the American spirit but charged it.