94 year-old Pearl Harbor survivor was part of Westfield remembrance ceremony

Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941

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Pearl Harbor veteran Robert Greenleaf looks on during a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the attack on the naval base in Hawaii.

WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Wednesday is the 75th anniversary of that date which will live in infamy: the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

94 year-old Robert Greenleaf of Westfield survived that terrible day. The Pearl Harbor veteran dropped a wreath into the Westfield River commemorating the thousands who died that day, including Frank Wojtkiewicz of Westfield, after whom a park was named.

Greenleaf told 22News that 75 years after the attack, it is sad to see what a divided country we now have.

“I’m disappointed in the fact that the United States is divided, whereas on December 8 (1941), this country was 100% united. Things have changed a lot since then,” Greenleaf said.

Aging veterans comprised the majority of those who came to pay their respects to the 2,400 Pearl Harbor victims. Les Eldredge, Commander of VFW Post 1847, was moved to remark how little the current generation appreciates, or even knows, the sacrifices of that day.

“I went to the doctor’s office this morning in my uniform, and they wanted to know what I was all dressed up for. And I said: ‘don’t you know what today is?’ No, I had to tell them the 75th anniversary of the harbor, and they said: ‘really?’”

But the generation that does remember came to Wojtkiewicz Park to honor all those who lost their lives at Pearl Harbor on this date 75 years ago.