Local News

Local Pearl Harbor survivors reflect on anniversary of attack

SPOKANE, Wash. - Sunday marked the 73rd anniversary of the attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor. In Spokane, the five remaining survivors of the Lilac City chapter of the National Pearl Harbor Survivors Association placed a lei on a monument near the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena.

Marine Ray Garland was one of the men who survived the attack. He says he was on the battleship Tennessee when the first bombs began to fall.

"They came by with a bomber and the rear gunner was shooting at us, and it was close enough that I could see him pretty plain," Garland said.

Garland says him and crew on board the battleship tried to keep the oil and fire seeping from the Arizona from burning up their ship. Armed with hoses, they worked to keep the Tennessee afloat.

"They opened up a hatch and the sailor and I went down and the insulation had burned off part of the wiring on the ship, so we turned the hose on there and I ended up in sick bay and that's all I remembered for the next couple days," Garland said.

Garland's story is just one of many shared Sunday afternoon.

He says seeing the people come out to remember the men and women who died is remarkable.

The Lilac City Chapter of the National Pearl Harbor Survivors Association is one of a handful around the nation that remains active. Of the 125 original members, only five are alive today.