On Friday, sixty-three World War II veterans from across the United States flew from DFW International Airport to Honolulu, Hawaii, to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Six of the veterans are survivors of Pearl Harbor, and for some, it marks their first time back.
According to Fox 4, ten of the sixty-three veterans that made the trip are from the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Three of the sixty-three are women, and twelve are more than one-hundred years old.
Four buses, occupied by the group of veterans and their caretakers, drove them all to the DFW International Airport on Friday morning for their upcoming week-long celebration in Hawaii, WFAA mentioned.
U.S. Navy veteran and survivor of Pearl Harbor, Earle Bowers said, “I’ve been bombed, machine-gunned, and everything else. When we’d pull in there, when we’d have to dock, they’d still cover over, and still drop bombs,” and added, “It’s just something good for me to do. Baby, I’m 101 years old.”
Another man who is 101 years old, a Navy veteran, and a survivor of Pearl Harbor is Lieutenant Commander Cass Phillips. He was twenty-one years old when he was involved with the attack and stated that “he’s never seen anything like December 7th, 1941” in all of his life.
At DFW International Airport, in Terminal D, a parade was held for the veterans with patriotic music, cheering, and American flags. Right before the plane took off, a water cannon salute honored the soldiers.
NBC DFW mentioned that ninety-six-year-old Jack Dye is a Navy veteran who lives in Fort Worth. He was seen doing “a Waikiki dance in his wheelchair as he boarded the flight,” as he was excited to reunite with his military “brothers and sisters” and to have the opportunity to pay his respects to the soldiers that did not survive the attack.
“American Airlines partnered with the Best Defense Foundation for this weekend’s honor of service and sacrifice of WWII veterans.”