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SCV veterans remember Pearl Harbor

Posted: December 6, 2010 10:29 p.m.
Updated: December 7, 2010 4:55 a.m.
 

Today is Pearl Harbor Day, and veteran servicemen in the Santa Clarita Valley say it’s an important date that should never be forgotten.

Before the year 1941, Dec. 7 was a date that few people circled on their calendars.

Since then, though, it’s been a date that resonates with enlisted personnel everywhere across the country.

“All veterans have a connection with Pearl Harbor,” said Vietnam War veteran Bill Reynolds of Valencia. “It started World War II for America.”

“For myself, and so many of my friends who served in Vietnam, their fathers served as a result of that event,” said Reynolds, who served in Charlie Company 4th of the 47th Regiment, 9th Infantry Division.

The attack on Pearl Harbor prompted Reynolds’ father to enlist. The senior Reynolds was assigned to serve near Australia, where he met the woman he later married.

“He met my mother in Australia, and it wouldn’t have happened if not for Pearl Harbor,” Reynolds said.

At dawn on Dec. 7, 1941, the United States Pacific Fleet centered at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii was attacked suddenly by planes from the Imperial Japanese Navy.

At least 2,402 military people were killed and 1,282 were injured during the attack.

“What it means is that you cannot let your guard down,” said Chief Warrant Officer Thomas Whitlock Jones of Santa Clarita, who served flew troops in and out of war zones in the Vietnam War.

“People who think you don’t need to have a military around should remember that when Pearl Harbor happened, we were in negotiations with the Japanese,” Jones said.

“We were working on an agreement, trying to keep them neutral.”

To read more about what happened in Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941,visit www.pearlharborday.org.

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