Archived Story

Pearl Harbor Day remembered

Published 9:55pm Friday, December 6, 2013

When the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor came 72 years ago Saturday, Arthur Whitner was still in high school.

However, after the United States entered World War II following that fateful day in 1941, where more than 2,400 Americans died at the hands of the Japanese navy, the war would drag on for almost four years. The U.S. Army drafted Whitner after he finished high school and sent him to Europe in 1945.

“I went right straight to the front,” said Whitner, who now resides at Autumn Care of Suffolk.

Whitner, then just 20 years old, started out in England and was assigned to the forces of the legendary Gen. George S. Patton. From there Whitner and his comrades went to France and Germany, following the retreat of German forces.

“We went all the way up and took one camp on the river,” said Whitner, now 88. “Then we got on a ship and came back to England.”

Whitner was sent back to the United States for more training in preparation for going to Japan, he said. But the Army never sent him there, as the end of the war in Japan came in August of that year.

Whitner later worked as a farmer and was known around town for his collards and strawberries, Autumn Care staff said.

Whitner said it is important to record the stories of World War II veterans while they are still living.

“There are not many left,” he said. “Most of the people who were older than I have passed on.”

  • chief601

    Thank you for your service, sir. And thank all, including my father and uncles, who served as well.

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    Thank you for your service, Sir.

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  • jhuxster

    As we remember Pearl Harbor, perhaps it’s fitting we remember our greatest enemy is not from without but from within. We have traded freedom for license, we have exploited the poor through promises of untold riches through the lottery; we confine our poor to government housing areas riddled with crime, drugs, and violence and term it compassion, we have destroyed self-reliance and replaced it with dependency. Once we worshiped at the altar of a merciful God who dealt with us in His grace, now we worship at the altar of an overpowering coercive government that threatens to destroy our freedom. In today’s America it’s becoming clear–it’s becoming illegal to practice your faith in you’re a Christian. As we celebrate the 72nd anniversary of Pearl Harbor, perhaps it’s fitting we recall the words spoken 150 years ago at another brutal battlefield, “But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

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    God bless & Thank you Mr. Whitner & all who fought beside you.

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