The red roses will be joined by a single white rose, commemorating the victims of Sept. 11.
“It’s important for the people in general to remember this and also for the military people to remember this,” Mr. Record, 69, a retired airline pilot, Vietnam-era veteran and Navy flier, said. “It’s not something they stress too much in school — or if you talk about Dec. 7 to people on the street, they don’t know what it means. That’s a shame. It’s shocking and very important in our history.”
It’s a momentous milestone of an event that stubbornly refuses to retreat into the history books — the 75th anniversary of the attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, an event that dragged a reluctant America into World War II and transformed an isolationist nation into a global superpower. The number of first-hand witnesses dwindles by the day — a 20-year-old Navy corpsman at Pearl Harbor turns 95 this year.
Gerard Barbosa, 93 of East Meadow, Long Island, is one of two Pearl Harbor survivors who plans to attend Wednesday’s ceremony. Then a 17-year-old second-class petty officer and assistant gunner aboard the USS Raleigh in the waters off Oahu, he isn’t sentimental about the terror he lived through.