FARMINGDALE, NY (CBSNew York) – This year marks the 80th anniversary of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, which led to the United States entering World War II.
Courageous veterans of this historic war were honored across the country on Tuesday, as well as in Farmingdale on Long Island, CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported.
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Leonard Finz, 97, said he remembered President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s moving words.
âHe said, ‘This is a day that will forever live on in infamy,’â Finz said.
It was the day eight decades ago when Japan launched an attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.
He shook our country to the depths of itself. At the time, Finz was a professional teenage musician.
âI didn’t want to stay in the group while my siblings died on the battlefield,â Finz said.
He said enlisting in the military was the proudest moment in the future judge’s life.
Finz and 16 other WWII veterans from Long Island were honored Tuesday at the American Airpower Museum in Farmingdale.
âWe escorted transport and merchant ships to Europe,â said Jack Stahl, a 95-year-old Navy veteran.
Helen Wolfson, now 97, volunteered in the Women’s Army Corps.
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âI’ve been to England and France,â Wolfson said.
âI served in Germany and Belgium during the ‘Battle of the Bulge’,â said David Marshall, a 97-year-old army veteran.
âThe sacrifices of our WWII veterans, their valor, their courage, and in particular this event, the fall of the roses,â said Retired Air Force Col. Bill Stratemeier.
The 80 roses were blessed and, in a solemn ceremony, were handed over to the pilots for the traditional drop over the Statue of Liberty.
Among the WWII veterans across the country honored on this important day were McLogan’s parents, Ted and Bea McLogan.
They were teenage students at the University of Michigan on Pearl Harbor Day. They then graduated and enlisted.
McLogan’s father was sent to Burma, survived the Merrill Marauders, and was inducted into the Army Ranger Hall of Fame.
McLogan’s mother stepped into the waves and worked to decipher the encrypted messages for the Navy.
They have passed away in recent years, but their Michigan hometowns Ann Arbor and Omena have paid tribute.
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âPearl Harbor is something that brings us all together,â Finz said. “I loved our country as I love it today, and I will always do so until the last day of my breath.”