100-year-old Pearl Harbor survivor reflects on the “date that will live in infamy”

Published: Dec. 7, 2021 at 11:50 PM EST
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CULVER, Ind. (WNDU) - The 80th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack that killed more than 2,400 people was commemorated with a 100-year-old survivor in attendance.

“Because of his health now, he can’t travel, so if he can’t go to the service, the service is gonna come to him,” said James Laud Sr., the 5th District Directors for the Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors Organization.

James DeWitt, a resident of Culver, Indiana, served in the U.S Navy and was at Pearl Harbor when the attack on his comrades and him took place.

Now, DeWitt wants the youth to appreciate the struggle that was endured.

“I think they need to know all about how things were to get here. What they have now, is what somebody else had to do that we can have what we have,” said James DeWitt.

The ceremony at Culver Academies allowed the students of the Military Academy to learn about the “date that will live in infamy.” As well as having the opportunity to meet a survivor.

“But I get the feeling when people shake my hand, I feel the difference. Or when they speak, you know, I get that feeling. They don’t get that feeling, they never had that feeling,” DeWitt said.

At 100-years-old, DeWitt tells us that the attack still fells like yesterday, and emphasizes the importance of knowing and understanding the history.

“We were here to honor those who died or persevered the attack there at Pearl Harbor, and hopefully raise awareness with people to see that even though it’s something so devastating and meant to cripple our will and any desire. We can rise above it,” said Laud.

The Link to The Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors website: Home (

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