Pearl Harbor survivors laid a wreath in Lake Springfield Wednesday to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the attacks. John Kelly of Jacksonville was on a destroyer that Sunday morning in 1941 when the Japanese planes arrived.
Click here for summary
“I said to myself, ‘what in the hell are we having more exercises here on Sunday morning?’ I just came out from leading maneuvers a week before,” he recalls. “Then I looked up and I saw that meatball and I said to myself, ‘My God, they’re here.” Kelly says he lost dozens of friends on the U.S.S. Oklahoma, but had little time to think about that 70 years ago. “You man the guns, that’s what you do,” he says. Laying a ceremonial wreath is an annual tradition at the Disabled American Veterans Hall in Springfield. Gov. Pat Quinn proclaimed Dec. 7 as Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day in Illinois.