LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – Flags are flying at half-staff today in for Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, the 78th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that brought the United States into WWII. The attack claimed the lives of over 2,400 Americans, including civilians.
Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts signed a proclamation for the day in a ceremony yesterday in Lincoln that included Nebraska Dept of Veterans’ Affairs Director John Hilgert, members of the Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors organization, and Ed Guthrie, the last known Pearl Harbor survivor of Nebraska.
Ricketts said preserving the history of Pearl Harbor is important as some heroes lost their lives in the attack, others went on to fight in World War II, and family members today carry the memory and legacy of their parents’ and grandparents’ actions.
Ed Guthrie was an electrician mate on the USS Whitney, docked in Pearl Harbor on the day of the attack. He was sitting on the deck reading when the attack began. Afterward, he spent 3 days picking up survivors and bodies from the water.
Guthrie went on to serve on the USS Banner and to participate in the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll before being discharged after six years and returning to Omaha where he was an electrician at OPPD for 34 years.