By Richard Zowie —
A few hours earlier that morning on Dec. 7, 1941, Richard Cunningham and other U.S. Navy sailors enjoyed some downtime at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
That ended as the abrupt air raid sirens blared and Japanese aircraft zoomed overhead, attacking the United States Pacific Naval Fleet.
Cunningham found himself thrust into an impromptu, emergency job trying to put out a fire on the USS Arizona, which would sink into the water.
It’s something he still thinks about when he visits Hawaii.
“It’s very humbling to me (to be alive), when I think of all the guys who went over and didn’t come back,” said Cunningham, now 94 years old. As a Pearl Harbor survivor, Cunningham was honored during the National Museum of the Pacific War’s Pearl Harbor Remembrance ceremony Monday, Dec. 7.
This year marked the 74th anniversary of the attack.