Local veterans remember Pearl Harbor

Posted by: Abigail Wood


"All my friends were going," Roscoe Shields, a World War II veteran, remembers the day Japan attacked Pearl Harbor 75 years ago. "I was still sixteen years old."

The attack killed more than 2,400 Americans and injured another 1,000. Shields was a junior at Northeast High School, too young to enlist at first. As soon as he could, though, he joined up.

"They attacked us, so I guess a number of us thought we needed to go help out," he said.

The Veterans Memorial Garden in Lincoln held a day of remembrance for the lives lost in the attack 75 years ago.

Another Lincoln Boy, Melvin Bates, says his father was a commanding officer at Pearl Harbor when the attack happened. Melvin was 15 at the time, and says he remembers the day he got the news like it was yesterday.

"I was in my shirtsleeves cutting the grass in the front yard when my stepmother stepped out of the front door, said, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor," he said. 

It was three weeks before Melvin got a letter saying his father was alive.

"We had no way of finding out what was going on, other than with the rest of the people through the radio and the newspapers," he said.

And another local tribute: Senator Ben Sasse put together a video listing Nebraskans killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor. The tribute has 50 names in all.