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Saratoga County

Pearl Harbor survivors honored on 71 years later

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Albany/HV: Pearl Harbor survivors honored on 71 years later
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It's been 71 years since Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, a day that is remembered vividly by those who were there. In memory of the anniversary, Albany County honors six survivors of the attack. Our Megan Cruz sat down with one of them.

ALBANY, N.Y. -- "December 7, 1941: a date which will live in infamy," said President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a day after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Seventy years later, Albany County honors six local survivors of that day. Three of them gathered at the J.E. Zaloga Post in Albany for a memorial ceremony.

"They're dropping their torpedoes before anybody even knew they were there," said Bill Langston. He was serving on the battleship USS West Virginia. He just finished breakfast that fateful Sunday.

"You didn't know exactly what was going on because we were below deck, you couldn't see," he said. "But you could feel whenever the ship got hit by a bomb or torpedo."

A table was set symbolically at friday's ceremony: a single rose for those whose blood was spilled, a slice of lemon for their bitter fate, and salt for the tears shed.

Bill says he still has nightmares about that day. Over 3,000 of his fellow Americans were killed or injured, including Bill's captain.

"A bomb hit the bridge, and a big plank penetrated his stomach. He was killed instantly," he said.

Bill says that sometimes it's a day he wishes he could forget, but that he's glad other people remember.

"I thank everyone for doing this because it makes you feel very good. It's hard to keep back the tears," he said.

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