Those who served should be remembered

By the Advocate Editorial Board
Dec. 6, 2017 at 5:06 p.m.
Updated Dec. 7, 2017 at 6 a.m.

As you prepare for your day Thursday, remember that 76 years ago bombs were dropped on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii just before 8 a.m.

The entire country was in turmoil as the nation realized the United States would soon enter World War II.

To commemorate the day, a history of Pearl Harbor will be given mid-morning at Limon's BBQ at The Corral on Houston Highway. Sue Lindsey, the widow of a Pearl Harbor survivor, and Larry Chilcoat, the son of a Pearl Harbor survivor, will also be at the event, which is open to the public.

Chilcoat and Lindsey said they are committed to keeping the memory of their deceased loved ones, Gary Lindsey and Joe Chilcoat, alive.

"They are passing from us, but their memory must stay alive," said Chilcoat, who said that one day there would be a ceremony when no Pearl Harbor survivors are in attendance. "Because of age, illness and attrition, there will come a day when I'll stand up here and be asked, 'Why'd you call this meeting?' Because we can't forget," he said.

We may have realized that time now as age and illness have caught up with most of the survivors in the Crossroads.

Carl Heiling was a young petty officer reading the comics the morning of the attack. Heiling's son, Robert Heiling, shared stories from his father's life with reporter Ismael Perez last year.

"It was a total surprise and shock," Heiling said of his father. "He said it was so intense, he didn't even experience fear."

In the same article, Chilcoat compared the attack on Pearl Harbor to terrorism. "The attack on Pearl Harbor was the first terrorist attack on the United States, and it should not be forgotten."

This week, take the time to thank your loved ones and friends impacted by the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.

Even though most of the survivors of that day have died, their memories and record of service must be kept alive.

This opinion reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.


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