The son of a hero looks back at Pearl Harbor

Posted By: Bayley Bischof Channel 8 Eyewitness News 

Japan attacked Pearl Harbor 76 years ago, marking the United States’ entry into World War Two.

It’s a day that ended the lives of thousands and altered even more.

Including Joe Francis’s dad.

"My dad was on the USS Pennsylvania when the attack came,” Francis said. “He was on guard without any bullets in his gun. He was seriously injured, he lost an eye and carried shrapnel in his leg for the rest of his life."

So Joe, along with other Lincoln residents gathered at the Auld Recreation Center Thursday afternoon to look back on that fateful day.

"Yeah… we’ve gotta remember them,” Francis said of his dad and the many heroes like him.

 Francis said his dad didn’t talk much about the day that earned him his Purple Heart.

"He told me about the attack, you know that it was totally unexpected,” Francis said. “It was a beautiful day and I think he said when the first bombs hit he thought it was an exercise in a wake island or something. He was trapped under some sheet metal and luckily rescued."

But so many weren’t as lucky.

"At the conclusion of the attack the casualties were high. 2,355 military personnel were killed including 2,008 navy, 109 marines, 218 army, 68 civilians were killed,” Melissa Marsh, with the Veterans Memorial Garden said.

It’s because of those who died, and those who fought  that Dec. 7, 1941 is a day the U.S. will always remember.

"America was at war, we remember those who lost their lives on this day and we remember the courage and sacrifices of those men who fought against the tyranny of the AXIS powers,” Marsh said. “May we never forget.”