Posted: Dec 7, 2010 6:35 PM by Maddie Garrett
Updated: Dec 7, 2010 6:36 PM
69 years after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, survivors joined together today to remember those who died. There are fewer and fewer people who experienced the horrors of the Pearl Harbor attacks. At its peak, the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association had 28,000 members. Now there are less than 3,000.
But one man in Acadiana remembers it all. And to him the anniversary is more than just a memory.
Staff Sergeant David Breedlove was on duty in Wheeler Field on the morning of December 7, 1941.
"We heard a noise there, we didn't know what it was, incidently that's where the first bomb fell that knocked out six air airbases before they hit the harbor," recalls Breedlove.
At the time, Breedlove was already a seasoned soldier in the army. He joined up in 1937 at only 17 years old. He says once they realized they were under attack, they went to get their weapons and started firing back. Breedlove says he didn't feel afraid, only startled.
"It was surprise I guess you could say, it wasn't fear," he said.
The bombing of Pearl Harbor was the beginning of a long war for Breedlove. He served over five and half years in the Pacific. He was on Guadalcanal, New Georgia, Luzon and the Philippines just to name part of his tour. When he finally got to come home, his family had moved here to Lake Arthur.
"I left there on furlough and I was supposed to go back, but you know the rest of that story," he said.
The rest was meeting Laurie Martin. After only three weeks the two got married in Lake Charles. And after 65 years of marriage, they've haven't left since. Now, at almost 91 years old, Pearl Harbor might seem like a long time ago. But for Breedlove, the memory is still just as fresh, and just as painful.
"The main thing is make people remember what happened that day," he said.