Although 71 years have passed since the bombing of Pearl Harbor, there are many men and women who still remember that day like it was yesterday. A lot of World War II veterans say the attack was what motivated them to enlist. Our Candace Hopkins spoke with one of those veterans Friday, who is working to remind the public of the many sacrifices our troops have made.
CICERO, N.Y. -- For Ed Zaluski, December 7th, 1941 was a day that changed the entire course of his life. The shock of Japan's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor put him and the nation on high alert.
"People were very apprehensive, they were kind of scared as to what goes on, you'd hear a noise, you'd turn off all the lights in your house, you expected something to happen," said Zaluski.
That fear and Zaluski's motivation to keep his country safe are what pushed him to enlist. One year after Pearl Harbor, he joined the Army Air Corp. It wasn't long before he was part of a ten man crew, flying bombing missions over the Pacific.
"You'd get up and you'd get shot, and you'd have an engine out, and you didn't know if you were going to make it back, you'd do everything you can, we would do that just to lighten the load, cause there was nothing more important than getting the ten of us home," said Zaluski.
Zaluski's entire crew survived three years in the Pacific. He later returned home, married, and went to work for 44 years at Crouse Hinds. Now, he uses his free time to make sure what he and other veterans went through is never forgotten.
"The kids haven't learned much about World War II now, so we kinda sneak in there and show them," said Zaluski.
And many of the kids are eager to learn.
"This is what we're there for, to kinda help them remember World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, 'cause I was also in the Korean War, but it's good for them to know these things even though they may forget it, but we think that it works, that it helps them out," said Zaluski.
Zaluski says his days of helping keep these memories stay alive are far from over.