SPOKANE, Wash.— One local man remembers firsthand how the course of history was changed 76 years ago on December 7.
Inland Northwest veteran Ray Garland survived Pearl Harbor, and will be the only one at the Spokane luncheon and ceremony Thursday.
The 95-year-old said he does not talk about the Pearl Harbor attacks, but sometimes journeys down memory lane for the right audience.
“I’ll tell you, hardly a day goes by, good or bad, where something happens that don’t remind you of one time you were in the service,” said Garland.
Garland said he remembers watching the explosions close up.
“It was right in front of us when it blew up. And everyone in that gun bucket got a concussion. You know. Because we were facing it,” Garland recalled.
Garland said he remembers hearing the planes and hearing the bombs.
“I remember I turned around and this Corporal said, ‘Turn around Garland!’”
“It was a dive bomber that had dropped its bomb on Ford Island, but it came down straight by the battleships as they came by,” Garland said.
It was a day Garland said he’ll never forget.
“When something like that happens, your mind retains that stuff. You don’t get rid of it. Let’s put it that way. You live with that stuff,” said Garland.
Garland is the last living member of the Spokane Chapter of Pearl Harbor survivors.