Keller: Attack on Pearl Harbor is not easy to forget

Published 11:45 pm Friday, December 5, 2014

This Sunday, December 7th, we Americans will observe the 73rd anniversary of Japan’s sneak attack on Pearl Harbor.

I was seven years old at the time and can recall that Sunday in 1941 like it was yesterday.

I was sitting in the football stadium at Leon Godchaux High School with my father. I don’t remember who won the game, but I do recall Inex Madere Millet in her band uniform, shouting to someone, “The Japanese have attacked Pearl Harbor.”

I remember listening to war news on the radio for the next three or four years. I remember my grandmother worrying because she had four sons serving their country.

I can still remember that I was playing baseball in St. Peter schoolyard when word came that one of my uncles, Aristide “Eaky” Keller, was killed in Europe.

Over the years, I’ve learned of men and women who served our country during that war. Many paid the ultimate sacrifice, unselfishly giving their lives to protect our freedom, including 31 from St. John Parish.

A friend of mine shared with me that last week, while cleaning his parent’s house, he found a letter from his uncle dated Aug. 22, 1944. He was on a ship being sent overseas.

The young man, not yet 19, told his family all was fine and not to worry. He said that he was with a group of the best guys he ever met, and to tell everyone “hello” and keep the fire burning bright until he got home.

On Sept. 2, 1944, he was killed in Normandy.

It’s men like him and many more who motivated Tom Brokaw to write the book, “The Greatest Generation.”

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