SAN DIEGO, Cali. (NBC) – As the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor approaches this wee, Veterans who survived the attack are making their way to Honolulu, Hawaii for the commemoration.
Among these veterans, The oldest survivor is flying back for the first time since World War II. 104 year old Ray Chavez arriving curbside just before his flight to Honolulu. A crowd of helpers waiting for the man who’ll be honored during a ceremony for the 75th anniversary of the storied attacks.
Ray Chavez says “I never will forget as long as I live”
Alaska airlines flew Chavez and his daughter, a navy veteran, first class. Cameras capturing his every move. San Diego firefighter Mitch Mendler stated “Because he’s the oldest and there’s not too many of them left anymore”
Joe Torillo who survived the 911 attacks explained that “Ray was actually in the harbor at 0 dark thirty”
A special TSA line opened giving Chavez special screening. But not before stranger after stranger stopped to take his picture – shake his hand and tell him thank you for his service.
Chavez adds “Well I’m not exactly a hero, because there were thousands of other heroes too, but I’m very proud of the honor bestowed on me.”
A local link to a key moment in American history. We read about it; he lived it.