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McDonnell Reflects with Veterans on Pearl Harbor Day - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

McDonnell Reflects with Veterans on Pearl Harbor Day

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Governor Bob McDonnell paused Friday to remember a somber anniversary: the attack on Pearl Harbor 71 years ago.    The attack thrust the United States into World War II, it was described by President Roosevelt as "a day that will live in infamy."

Veterans from past wars, soldiers currently serving, and students who may one day be on the front lines joined the governor at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond Friday morning to mark this somber occasion.

Almost three quarters of a century later, the attack on Pearl Harbor lives on, in the minds of those who remember America on the brink of war, and in some cases, in the words of those who were there. Etched in glass or carved in stone, the names of these fallen heroes help us remember not to forget.

"For many of you, you remember where you were on December 7, 1941, or you've talked to somebody who told you about what it was like," said Gov. Bob McDonnell.

Max Green, now 94, was there on that December morning in Hawaii.

"I was up early, getting ready to go to church, and all of a sudden it happened," said Green. "Noise, planes up and down, bombs exploding."

Long removed from the sounds of war, Green sat at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond, as a different sound rang in his ears: the names of 44 fallen Virginians, a small fraction of the 2400 Americans killed at Pearl Harbor.

"It's hardly ever mentioned anymore, you know, it's so far in the past now," said Green.

But on Friday, the memory endured.

"What you did with your sacrifice, you became a part of what we now know as the greatest generation," said McDonnell. "What they have done, and what men and women will continue to do for America, has got to be continually honored."

"Hopefully it will never happen to, you know, the other generations to come," said Green.

There are currently 830,000 veterans in Virginia, and 135,000 soldiers on active duty, all linked to the attack that, in McDonnell's words, "established this country as the leading nation on earth."

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