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100-year-old Bend Pearl Harbor survivor returns for ceremony marking 80th anniversary of attack

(Update: Adding video, comment from Navy secretary, attendee)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Thursday marked the 80th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, that thrust America into World War II, and Central Oregon’s only remaining survivor, now 100 years old, was on among those on hand for the ceremony.

Uncharacteristic gray skies and poor weather marked what was a somber occasion in Hawaii.

U.S. Navy Secretary Carlos Del Torro said, “Today's event allows us the generation of the 21st century, to recognize, honor and give thanks to the generation of military veterans and civilians who served during World War II.”

Among the 32 Pearl Harbor survivors present was 100-year-old Dick Higgins.

Scot Brees, who attended the event said, “For all of the veterans, and Dick in particular, they were all very circumspect. Many of them talked very openly about how this may be the last time they ever attend one of these.”

At 7:55 a.m., there was a moment of silence, to mark exactly 80 years since the start of the attack.

Other attendees observed the number of survivors who stood to be honored at the ceremony is dwindling.

“Most expect that the next time they run around for a remembrance ceremony on a five-year mark, they’re probably won’t be any remaining,” Brees said.

Higgins just turned 100 over the summer and NewsChannel 21 was there as the community came out in force to honor the man affectionately known as "Gramps."

On Tuesday, Higgins was able to once again attend the ceremony, in honor of his fallen comrades.

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Jack Hirsh

Jack Hirsh is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jack here.



    1. True, sad to say but this is who the demonrat party has become. demonrats are anti-America and want nothing better than to see the USA go under as a country.

      1. The story saying that veterans were losers has been proven false, so I suggest you look to switch away from fake news agencies that just push their anti Republican message.

  1. Great to see my Great Uncle made it to the ceremony at Pearl Harbor. Pearl Harbor was one of his first commands in the Navy and one of my last. When I saw him last was at his house in Costa Mesa CA where he lived for many years and was the President of the LA chapter of Pearl Harbor survivors. That was was 20+ years ago and he was talking about starting a new profession so he was back to studying he said. Glad to see he getting out and people are being blessed with his remembrance of that day.

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