3 veterans left in Augusta who survived Pearl Harbor

Friday, Dec. 6, 2013 2:11 PM
Last updated Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013 1:39 AM
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There was a time when Quentin Shivers’ thoughts on Dec. 7 were focused on his survival of the date in American history that President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed would “live in infamy.”

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A service photo shows Martinez Marine Corps veteran Quentin Shivers, now 93 and one of three remaining Pearl Harbor survivors in the Augusta area.  SPECIAL
A service photo shows Martinez Marine Corps veteran Quentin Shivers, now 93 and one of three remaining Pearl Harbor survivors in the Augusta area.

But today, on the 72nd anniversary of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, Shivers, 93, says the memory is so distant and faded that he has trouble remembering the event that thrust the United States into World War II and changed the country’s role in global politics.

“If not for my birthday, I doubt I would even think about it,” said the Martinez resident and Marine Corps veteran born on Dec. 7, 1920. “It happened so long ago and so much has happened since that now it’s just another day.”

The fact that fewer veterans can recall – or are still living – to preserve Pearl Harbor’s legacy makes the 2013 anniversary a difficult year for local historians.

Augusta Historical Society records show that only three Pearl Harbor veterans remain in the area.

The dwindling number, down from 18 five years ago, has led some veterans and officials to fear that the event will soon be just another chapter in a history book, with no one left to go to schools and Rotary Club luncheons to offer a firsthand testimony of Pearl Harbor.

The concerns also are playing out nationwide.

Once 16 million strong, World War II veterans are dying at a rate of about 600 a day, and now number a little more than 1 million, according to recent U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs figures.

It is estimated that by 2036, there will be no veterans of World War II left.

“This might be the last year that there is a veteran left to share their story,” said Fred Gehle, the coordinator of the Augusta Historical Society’s Veterans History Project.

Gehle said the project began in 2007 as part of an effort to collect the stories of Augusta’s veterans for submission into the Library of Congress’ American folklore divIsion.

Local historians interviewed 800 veterans. Eighteen survived Pearl Harbor. Three are still alive.

“There are very few of us left,” Shivers said.

When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor just before 8 a.m. on Dec. 7, 1941, Shiver saw the ambush unfold from the top of the submarine base’s bachelor officer quarters.

Unarmed and with no access to weapons, he was ordered to stay put. All he could do was watch helplessly as the USS Arizona exploded in the harbor and another fleeing ship was struck by torpedoes.

“The attacks on Pearl Harbor were a traumatic event in American history,” Gehle said. “It radically changed our country in a way that the average person today would not understand without our veterans and their stories of sacrifice.”

The two-hour attack sank or damaged 21 ships and destroyed 350 aircraft. More than 2,400 Americans died, and an estimated 84,000 people survived.

The Pearl Harbor Survivors Association estimates just 3,000 survivors are still alive, which is more than can be said for the 53-year-old association. It disbanded Jan. 1, 2011.

Gehle said the historical society is doing its best to preserve the stories of all Pearl Harbor survivors.

Among the stories included is that of Augusta Army veteran Alvin Mays, 92.

As the Japanese planes strafed his barracks with gunfire, Mays said, he and the rest of the soldiers boarded trucks and quickly headed to positions in the nearby hills. He knew little about what was happening, but he could hear the explosions from the harbor about a mile away.

“When they hit the harbor, it was like a hurricane,” said Mays, who went on to participate in six island invasions in the Pacific before ending his service.

Mays said that he did not know that there were any Pearl Harbor survivors left in the area and that he wants to meet them for a conversation. According to the Augusta Historical Society, the third area survivor is Navy veteran Hiram C. “Pete” Cartee, 90.

“I don’t see how America could ever forget what happened that day,” Mays said.

Shivers, who today will receive birthday calls from loved ones, said written artifacts might be all that veterans have left.

“It’s in the history books now,” he said. “That’s all you can say.”

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JRC2024 12/07/13 - 01:00 pm
What about all the spouses of

What about all the spouses of WWII veterans. They did not fight but stayed home and worried.

Check out this website for the REAL MANDELLA

Published on December 6th, 2013 | by Dr. Joel McDurmon 5 The Real Mandela “There is nothing sacred or inherently superior about non-violent methods of struggle.” —Nelson Mandela With the media gushing about the greatness of Nelson Mandela now on the day after his death, a counterpoint with the rest of the story is badly needed. Below are a few video interviews of South African missionary Peter Hammond, who tells the real truth about Mandela. Portrayed as a liberator by the media, Mandela was a Marxist and convicted terrorist. Hammond relates of Mandela: He admitted in open court—pleaded “guilty”—and remember, he was trained as a lawyer—he pleaded “guilty” to 156 acts of public violence and terrorism. He was the head of the revolutionary terrorist wing of the ANC [African National Congress] “Umkhonto we Sizwe.” And he was behind so many different operations: from the plotting of bombs in the railway station (which killed women and children, which crippled people), bombs in shopping centers, attacks on farmers, . . . so many acts of violence. He goes on to say that modern portrayals make Mandela out to be a saint, but never mention why he was in prison to begin with. It was for good and just reason. “Not even the Amnesty International would take his case, because they said he wasn’t a political prisoner. He had had a fair trial and a reasonable sentence. He had his day in court. He was not a political prisoner. He was in jail for acts of violence.” He relates that the crimes for which Mandela was given life imprisonment in South Africa, he would have received the death penalty in the U.S. or Britain at the time. It was the political climate that later got him released, and leftist revisionism that has whitewashed his early life of violence. If anything, Mandela’s legacy is an argument in favor of the death penalty. When such criminals are not disposed of, there is always a chance future political powers may be corrupt enough to release them—perhaps even into positions of power. In light of the truth about Mandela, Hammond can say, “I’m astounded that so many in the west idolize Nelson Mandela and lift him up as a messianic figure, because they obviously don’t know what he teaches, what he believes, or what he does, or his support for some of the most radical Marxist dictatorships on the planet.” This includes many Christians: “A lot of Christians out there idolize Nelson Mandela just because they’ve only been given false, misleading, and incomplete information.” When Mandela fell ill a year ago, the media began to prepare for the very hagiography which it is now publishing about the fallen terrorist. Barack Obama seized the opportunity to tour South Africa, speaking on human rights everywhere he went, invoking the name of Mandela at every stop and praising his work. A liberal NPR commentator could not contain himself this morning. He lamented the fact that during Obama’s visit to the country, Mandela was too ill for a photo-op: “The first black president of the United States standing beside the first black president of South Africa would’ve made for a powerful moment.” Or he might have said: “One crypto-communist friend of terrorists standing beside a known communist and convicted terrorist would’ve made for a revealing moment.” In the wake of the Boston bombings, Obama stated that the acts would be investigated as acts of terrorism, because, “Any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians it is an act of terror.” “Any time. . . .” Yet this morning, when addressing the death of Mandela only a few months later, the same president said, “We’ve lost one of the most influential, courageous, and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this earth.” There is indeed a disconnect in the public discourse. And yes, even, many Christians will be confused and cornered. Many will find themselves trapped by the perceived dilemma created by the whitewashed narrative of Mandela. If opponents openly criticize him, they risk being publicly associated a friends of apartheid and racism (just as supporters of states’ rights in the U.S. today get associated unduly with slavery and racism). Give Mandela a pass, however, and you give a pass to his Marxist ideology and terrorism. It sounds a lot like many other lesser-of-two-evils decisions presented to us. The videos which follow come from a missionary who judges matters differently. He upholds the truth in the public square, no matter what people say against him or try to do to him. Mandela has passed on to stand before his maker. We will now see if God judges according to the lesser of evils. If you’d like to learn more about Mandela’s communism, just read the book he himself wrote, and which was part of the loads of evidence used against him in his trial: How to Be a Good Communist. - See more at: http://americanvision.org/9813/missionary-reveals-real-mandela/#sthash.C...

Sweet son
Sweet son 12/07/13 - 02:45 pm
Changed my mind on my comment!

:)Have a great day!

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