Pearl Harbor Survivor Shares What Memorial Day Means To Him; Says He Isn’t A Hero

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LOWELL (KFSM) -- Some will spend Memorial Day doing fun activities, others will pay their respects at a ceremony. Local veteran Jack Williams will spend the day at home trying to forget a day that's now part of American History.

"At 8 o'clock that morning, here they came," Williams said. Jack was assigned to a small naval ship in Pearl Harbor. He remembers when the first bomb dropped.

"There were very few survivors," Williams said. "She sunk right where she was tied up." Williams is one of few survivors still alive to tell these stories, even though he doesn't like to.

"A lot of your buddies are being killed and you couldn't do anything about it." These are memories Williams said he wishes he didn't remember. He said Pearl Harbor was not a hero's day to be alive, but a lucky day to be alive.

Williams doesn't want to be thought of as a hero. He said he was at Pearl Harbor doing his job and it just happened. Williams lives everyday fighting the flashbacks and nightmares of that day more than 70 years ago.

Memorial Day means something different to him. "It means the only thing it can mean," Williams said. "How fortunate I was to live through it."

Although he would rather not remember what happened in December of 1941, Williams will remember his brothers who weren't as lucky as him.

"Everyday is Memorial Day," Williams said. "With sadness in your heart for those poor sailors that didn't make it."

A Memorial Day ceremony will be held Sunday (May 28) in Fort Smith at the Fort Smith National Cemetery beginning at 2 p.m.

The Memorial Day Ceremony in Fayetteville will begin at 10 a.m. on Monday (May 29) at the Fayetteville National Cemetery.


1 Comment

  • Randy Ingle

    To this Vet Memorial day is not about picnics or boating it is about humbly remembering all the precious veterans who sacrificed their lives in defense of all of us.

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