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Whidbey veterans to remember Pearl Harbor

"Remember Pearl Harbor.That wartime pledge is alive and well today on Whidbey Island, where ceremonies are planned on both ends of the island to mark what President Roosevelt described as a day that will live in infamy.On Dec. 7, 1941 the Imperial Japanese Navy and Air Force attacked units of the armed forces of the United States at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.Among the first to join the fight was Glenn Nichols, then a young sailor aboard the USS Raleigh. It was the first warship torpedoed by the Japanese attack. This Thursday, Dec. 7, Nichols and other members of Island Post 7482 of Veterans of Foreign Wars, Clinton, will hold a Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day program at 11:30 a.m. at the Langley Post Office.The honor given this day is not only for those directly at Pearl Harbor, but also for the many others who gave their lives on Pearl Harbor's Island of Oahu, Nichols said.Nichols and his brother-in-law Bill Norton are the only two known Pearl Harbor survivors who live on South Whidbey. Another, John Kahlar, died late last month. We're looking for others if they're around, Nichols said. I wish they would step forward.The community is invited to Langley to join the ceremony. The public is also reminded to fly their American flags at half-staff, if possible.Other island Pearl Harbor survivors will participate in a ceremony jointly held by Naval Air Station Whidbey Island and the Pearl Harbor Survivors' Association. The ceremony begins at 9 a.m. at Crescent Harbor Marina in Oak Harbor. The public is welcome. A 65-foot support craft belonging to the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit will get under way to carry Pearl Harbor survivors and military dignitaries out into Crescent Harbor. Guests not on the boat will be offered roses to be tossed from the marina pier. Refreshments will follow at the marina.The Island County Commissioners and Langley City Council have adopted Pearl Harbor Day proclamations. The Japanese attack 59 years ago took 2,330 American lives and sank or severely damaged eight heavy battleships, as well as damaging several cruisers and destroyers. It sparked the United States' immediate entry into World War II. "

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