WWII veteran remembers 'date which will live in infamy'
71st anniversary of Pearl Harbor attack
- Duration 3:54
- Date Dec 7, 2012
71st anniversary of Pearl Harbor attack
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-- some of -- seven.
-- date which will live.
-- -- years ago marks the anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor and during that time I guess.
The next guess was just a college student he closed his books packed his bags and headed off to fight for his country fly for his country.
And bomb first country World War II veteran and author of this book a wide place in the road Richard Kirkland joins us right now.
Thank you good pleasure being here you 89 you look like you're 59 thank you FDR when he's making that speech you remember him -- -- amendment that's indeed and what did you do it wouldn't what did you think when he was talking.
Well it is the thing about was -- America at that time was very.
Are salacious nobody wanted to go to that into -- your dad fought in World War I he sees a lot you'll forget about this column will find no way out -- It was it was a shock -- that morning when I promise of newspaper boy.
The -- and move newspapers grew up in the mountains and model T Ford crux of -- -- And open the papers that morning I see that big final big black letters uses japs bombed Pearl Harbor.
An -- the world who's just change.
And it did change he dropped out of school no more art major -- you became a fighter pilot I became a fighter pilot and -- went to the southwest Pacific.
203 combat missions.
Flew with -- -- American nation of nations.
And known and -- -- -- did my thing -- there that and you also you say you're the wing man for Charles -- yes I -- on Charles were movement berg swing on one occasion.
How does how does a wheel goes to a young man's mind -- 1920.
When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor illegal in the military war food footing you go from an artist to an attacker.
What -- goes through your minds.
Well -- I would I would just comment that we were all shocked you know about what happened when they bought drop the bomb and and so I have lots of plans and and and I thought -- that I'm.
My plans are gone up in smoke at all you know our our country's been attacked.
And I was like all my friends we we we all just wouldn't went -- signed up.
We're going over there and fight the war.
And he said -- he said to me that I almost feel bad for the guys fighting down union which had to do that it was kill the enemy.
And now we seem to a blurred that line is so much -- award America not to different ball game I don't understand it frankly.
You know we knew who our enemy was and and we you had to destroy the enemy that's the name of war.
It's it's it's it's -- -- they used to say.
But that's -- way it is.
And you have to go after the -- have to -- it.
You can you can't I can't imagine how a guy like him can be fighting the war when somebody's -- -- we -- shoot him we don't shoot him.
Just making sense it doesn't and you know it does make sense it's such an honor to have you come in and talk about that -- that means so much to America but it stuck in the history books.
And in your book but you actually bring it to life by talking about -- -- well thank you -- -- appreciate that I I had.
I have that's in my mind for some time and written a number of books and punish -- hate the greatest story really here.
Is the one I would think they're the one place in the road it is the story.
-- that -- before the war and then you know young people growing up in a little community and took -- Californians to have to be mountains.
The war comes along -- -- lives were changed forever but we all go to war.
It's a great story a and I'm I'm I'm confident that -- many people will enjoy it enjoy it I am confident that you can tell it right about it thanks so much is great for you come in.
Thanks so much Richard Kirkland and for your service thank you so it's a pleasure to be here it seems.