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Pearl Harbor survivor thrives meeting visitors

Pearl Harbor survivor thrives meeting visitors

PEARL HARBOR: In this photo taken Nov. 22, 2013, Herb Weatherwax, seated, poses for a photo with Hauula Elementary School sixth graders from left Dawson Langinbelik, Rachel Cheney, Frank Kojima, La'a Beatty, Chase Colleado, Makoa Ahquin-Soren and Keola Baily in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The 96-year-old retired electrician is one of four Pearl Harbor survivors who volunteers to greet visitors at the historic site. Photo: Associated Press/Audrey McAvoy

AUDREY McAVOY, Associated Press

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) — Herb Weatherwax charms visitors each of the three days a week he volunteers at a memorial for the USS Arizona, a battleship that sank in the 1941 Japanese attack.

The 96-year-old retired electrician is one of four former servicemen who lived through the aerial bombing and now greet people at the historic site.

Their numbers are dwindling. The three others are also in their 90s.

During the week, Weatherwax is joined by Sterling Cale, a hospital corpsman assigned to the shipyard dispensary in 1941, and Alfred Rodrigues, who was stationed at the mouth of Pearl Harbor.

On the weekend, USS Pennsylvania survivor Everett Hyland greets visitors.

On Saturday, they will join a few thousand guests for a public ceremony remembering those who died in the attack 72 years ago.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the U.S. Navy base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii as part of its plan to conquer Southeast Asian territories. The raid, which claimed some 2,400 American lives, prompted the United States to declare war against Japan the next day.

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