COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS — As the nation remembers the attack on Pearl Harbor 80 years to the day, one Pearl Harbor veteran spent his morning in College Station, laying a wreath alongside the graves of President George H.W. and Barbara Bush.
Caldwell resident and Pearl Harbor veteran Horace Hamilton stood up from his wheelchair to place a large, fresh balsam wreath at the gravesite of the Bushes Tuesday morning.
"Get the word out to the young people nowadays, what happened," Hamilton said. "Try to preserve it – the history - so that it won’t happen again.”
Hamilton had been aboard the USS Phoenix the day of the attacks; a ship that narrowly missed damage from an open fire.
Flagged by family, other veterans, and supporters this anniversary, he honored not only the memory of Pearl Harbor but the service of George Bush and Senator Bob Dole, who died on Sunday.
"It is just incredible," said Ellen Fuller, co-chair for Wreaths Across America's [WAA] Brazos Valley chapter. "Incredible, since we’ve lost both of them now, and we’re losing so many World War II veterans ... to have one of the survivors, Mr. Horace Hamilton here, a 97-year-old who wanted to make sure that his fallen comrades aren’t forgotten.”
Brazos Valley WAA, organizers of the event, said that this morning was particularly special and that with turnouts like the crowd of several dozen people it’s evident that service and sacrifice from generations past, is still important to the modern world.
"A person dies twice," Fuller said. "First is the physical death, and then when you stop saying their name."
Brazos Valley WAA is fundraising to place 2,000 wreaths on local veterans graves this holiday season, and are still short of their goal. To donate, visit the following link.