Pearl Harbor is remembered at Durango VFW

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DURANGO, C.O. – Wednesday is Dec. 7. 81 years since the attack on Pearl Harbor. Across the country, people are honoring those who lost their lives that day.

That includes the VFW post in Durango, where Tim Deal, veteran and author of Defenders of the Rock, says there is even more behind the “date which will live in infamy.”

“That generation was very patriotic, very honorable, and extremely brave,” Deal said.

America was thrusted into WWII in 1941.

“Pearl Harbor was such a devastating attack, 2,400 people were killed, it was a quite peaceful Sunday morning and all of a sudden, their lives were shattered,” said Deal. 

But that was only a part of multiple attacks that took place on that fateful day.

“What a lot of people don’t know is about a few hours later after Pearl Harbor was attacked, the Philippines were attacked,” Deal added.

The author of Defenders of the Rock recounted the stories of those who were there, when the Axis powers took over the Philippines.

“There were airbases, there was a Navy base that were there and when the Japanese hit most of the aircraft were wiped out. The Navy pretty much left and those twenty-some-thousand that were left fought for five months and if you didn’t escape you got captured,” Deal said. 

Like Lt. Col. Martin Moses.

“He got caught up in the bombing of the Philippines. He didn’t want to become a prisoner, so he took off to the hills to be a guerrilla leader. He was captured, tortured and executed, he never made it home, never saw his younger son,” said Deal. 

And it’s those stories, that are being remembered at the Durango VFW, where the flag is flown half-staff in their honor.

And for Deal, an Ernest Hemingway quote sums it up best.

“Every man has two deaths, when he is buried in the ground and the last time someone says his name. In some ways man can become immortal, so I think by remembering Pearl Harbor and honoring the memory of those who died there we are making them immortal,” Deal said. 

Last week, Deal’s book was auctioned off and raised $850 that will go towards finishing the non-alcoholic section in the Durango VFW.