4 Survivors Were To Attend Ceremony Honoring 72nd Anniversary

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum marked the 72nd anniversary of the attack at Pearl Harbor with a special ceremony Saturday.

As WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reported, museum president Susan Marenoff-Zausner said the ceremony will pay tribute to those who gave their lives in the attack on Dec. 7, 1941, as well as those who survived. Among them is Clark Simmons, now in his 90s, who was to be in attendance.

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“He served on the U.S.S. Utah and there were two torpedoes that hit the Utah,” Marenoff-Zausner said.

Simmons had to swim to save his life.

In all, four Pearl Harbor survivors attended the ceremony.

“To learn from them and to hear from them, speak about their experiences and really have our youngest generation particularly learn about heroism through them directly, I just don’t think you could replace it with anything else,” Marenoff-Zausner said.

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At the ceremony, those gathered lay a wreath in the Hudson River and play “Taps,” remembering the date that lives in infamy.

Also Saturday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered flags on state government buildings to be flown at half-staff as he released a statement honoring the lives lost at Pearl Harbor.

“On Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, I join with all New Yorkers to pause in observance of the 72nd anniversary of the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor and remember those we lost,” Cuomo said in a news release. “December 7, 1941 was truly a ‘date that will live in infamy’ that changed the course of our nation’s history and propelled the United States into World War II. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I offer my thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of those we lost at Pearl Harbor and thank the service members who continue to protect this country.”

More than 2,400 Americans were killed in the attack, including 40 from New York. Nearly 1.7 million New Yorkers – more than from any other state in the country – went on to serve in World War II, Cuomo’s office said.

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