As military veterans who survived the attack on Pearl Harbor gather in Honolulu for what many describe as their last hurrah, a younger generation stands ready to carry on their legacy and preserve the memory of the thousands who perished on that infamous day.
“This is a very key point in our history, where the Pearl Harbor survivors are in their mid-80s and older and our responsibilities of carrying their mission forward becomes even more critical,” said Lee Sandefer, 68, the national president of the Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors.
The group’s motto is “Lest We Forget,” continuing the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association’s theme: “Remember Pearl Harbor. Keep America Alert. Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Liberty.”
The descendants’ group, founded in 1973, has seen its membership and responsibilities grow in recent years as the veterans have grown frailer and many have died.
Sandefer, a member since 1994, said SDPHS has about 3,000 members nationwide and in foreign countries such as England and Australia. Members support PHS groups in a many ways, including carrying banners in parades, escorting survivors to speak at schools, and participating in memorials and special events, including several in Honolulu this week to mark the 65th anniversary of the Japanese attack that plunged the United States into World War II.