POPLAR GROVE, Ill. (WTVO) — Two thousand four hundred and three Americans were killed, and more than 1,100 injured, in the Pearl Harbor attacks 81 years ago.
Many ceremonies or gatherings to remember the day and those that served took place on Wednesday. Sons and daughters of those who served told stories. Many artifacts from the tragic events back in 1941 were also shown.
This is a mission for two brothers, to keep the memory of Pearl Harbor in the minds of everyone.
“The mission of the Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors is to keep the memory of December 7th alive,” Bob Miller.
Bob and his brother Eric have spent the last few decades reminding people of what happened on Dec. 7, 1941. Their father Clarence Miller was 19 years old when he witnessed the attack first hand.
“He was a 19-year-old kid and he’s passed away, and now most of the survivors have passed away, but it’s our job as Son’s and Daughter’s to keep the memory going,” the Millers said.
The brothers have shared their father’s experience for decades, but they have also incorporated the memories of other survivors in recent years.
“My dad belonged to an organization called the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, and so we got to meet a lot of other members of that group, and we started to tributes to veterans that we met along the way too,” the Millers said. “We want their families to remember them, we want everyone to remember them as well. It’s not just about our dad. We are trying to do all of them, as many survivors as we can. We’ve got several here this evening, son and daughters. It’s great to see them.”
Other in attendance shared their loved one’s stories as well.
“He was the first one to get the guns out, and he set up his guns,” one said. “They’re big guns with big tripods.”
They watched the Oklahoma turn over and his buddy kept saying, ‘no, it’s not turning over,'” another added.
“It makes me feel I’m doing the job I’m supposed to be doing in memory of my father,” Miller said. “I want people to be educated about this.”
The Millers have spent their lives making sure that people who served Pearl Harbor are never forgotten, a mission that the Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors stive to never stop. That is to remind Americans of those attacks and the people that were lost.”