Amarillo veterans honored on Pearl Harbor Day

Amarillo World War II veterans were honored with a ceremony at Ussery-Roan Texas State Veterans Home Thursday, on the 76th anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor. (ABC 7 Amarillo- Abby Aldrich)

Thursday marks the 76th anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor and in honor of their service, Amarillo World War II veterans were honored with a ceremony and presented certificates at Ussery-Roan Texas State Veterans Home.

Speakers at the ceremony honored the veterans, saying they have made a contribution to our nation, maintaining United States citizens freedom and liberty.

The ceremony sparked memories for many veterans, where they remembered where they were and how the attack made them feel. Roy Ehly, a World War II veteran said he recalls the date in 1941 being on a Sunday, because his older brother had been home that day for Sunday dinner.

“I just remember it was total devastation," Ehly said. "That’s about all I remember about it. It was just all [of] those people we knew and all of those guys that had been killed, so we went on to fight in the service then.”

Hugh LeClair, a World War II veteran, said he became angry and disturbed because he did not know what was going on at the time. He recalls being 14-years-old and listening to the broadcast of the attack over the radio.

Ehly tells ABC 7 News he was drafted in World War II shortly after the Attack on Pearl Harbor and only knew what was going on from the newspapers. He said he was fighting to keep patriotism alive and strong.

"What it meant to us, our country was bombed," Ehly said, "and we were willing to do what we could to help and we did. We went on to Japan."

For others, they were fighting because they knew they had a job to do for the United States.

“I’m an American citizen and I was not thinking in terms of trying to be a great solider," LeClair said. "I didn’t even know that I even had the talent for it, but I knew that as a citizen of this county, that I had a job to do. If the government needed me, I had to go.”

According to the Pearl Harbor Visitors Bureau, 2,403 Americans were killed in the Pearl Harbor attack.

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