Sunday marks 73 years. It's been 73 years since forces of the Imperial Japanese Army launched a brutal surprise attack on the American Naval base Pearl Harbor, killing more than 2,500, uniting the nation behind its entrance into World War II and spurring many local men and women to trade their high school classrooms for tanks, ships and airplanes as they joined the war effort.
"I remember it like it was yesterday," said Cherry Hill resident Simon Zayon, a WWII U.S. Navy veteran and one of a half dozen members of the Greatest Generation at Camden and Gloucester counties' joint Pearl Harbor Commemoration Ceremony Friday morning.
The annual event featured remarks from U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross, Gloucester County Director of Veterans Affairs Duane Sarmiento, Director of Philadelphia and Wilmington's offices for the federal Department of Veterans Affairs Diana Rubens and Gloucester County Freeholder Deputy Director Joe Chila, among others.
But the real stars of the show weren't heard until after most of the politicians, officials and guests were gone, when Camden County Freeholder Deputy Director Edward McDonnell and Rutgers University Oral History Archives Director Shaun Illingworth presented "The Voices of Camden County's Veterans: World War II in the Pacific," a special showcasing of stories from six World War II veterans from Camden County, including Zayon... (see more at: http://www.nj.com/)