CHARLES CITY, Iowa- 75 years ago Japanese planes bombed the naval base of Pearl Harbor a day Francis Riley of Cedar Rapids says he will never forget. On Wednesday he spoke to a crowd of about 200 at the North Grand building in Charles City.
“I was out on the dock putting the jack out when the Japanese bombed the hell out of the Arizona,” Riley says.
Though the attack happened 75 years ago to the day, Riley can tell you everything about the event down to the clothes he was wearing.
“It was another nice beautiful sunny day, like all of them,” he says. “I was wearing white shorts and a shirt that is all I had on.”
The ceremony was designed to remember all of those lost in WWII was well as veterans alike.
“After the news came over the radio in 1941 people would started clinging to the radios listening to see what was happening because there were some from this area in Pearl Harbor,”says Christopher Anthony, the Event Coordinator. “There were 3 that died that day from Charles City and we learned that there were some from Osage and Riceville as well.”
But for Riley, it is a day he doesn’t like to talk about.
“Why would I?” he asked back. “Pearl Harbor and those days were not fun days.”