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USS Midway Museum commemorates Pearl Harbor Day

The USS Midway Museum marked the 81st anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor as it has since 2004, hosting a commemoration by the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association. But for the second year in a row, there were no survivors present.

“Now we’re in this delicate transition phase where time has moved on, and there are hardly any actual living veterans of the Pearl Harbor attack that can still make it to these commemorations,” said Karl Zingheim, Midway Museum historian and Navy veteran. “We’re transitioning ... to being able to keep that memory alive for their legacy.”

Pearl Harbor survivor families were recognized during Wednesday’s ceremony to honor the memory of their loved ones who are no longer here to tell their stories.


Zingheim said this transition has happened before.

“Another heroic generation passing the baton to a future generation, just as the Civil War veterans did for those who eventually fought in World War II,” Zingheim said.

That future generation includes Navy veteran Robert Ling, whose father was a World War II veteran.

”I come here to the Midway every Dec. 7 and it just brings back memories,” Ling said. ”Bad memories, but good memories too.”

More than 2,000 U.S. personnel lost their lives during the attack.


“If any one lesson has to be passed along is the fact that you can’t take things for granted and you always have to be able to be ready to defend liberty at a moment's notice,” Zingham said.