A huge crowd turned out for Monday’s Memorial Day service at Memorial Park in Lansdale. Virgilio-Schembri-Bottavio Veterans Post Commander Pat Angelis spoke about the fallen veterans whose names are carved in granite at the park.
“Each name had someone cry for them. Each name had loved and was loved. Each name left a terrible void and sadness in their families. The greatest tragedy in war is not the structures that are destroyed. They can be rebuilt and replaced. It’s the great loss of life that society is robbed of.”
Special guests included members of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association. Michael Train of Warminster served in the Vietnam War, but his father was at Pearl Harbor as radio man on the USS Honolulu, and he sent the message that said, “Air raid. Pearl Harbor. This is no drill.” He says he learned about his father from the men who served with him.
“As I started to meet more guys one of them told me when my father was told to stand down after 18 hours he realized that he was still in his underwear. As I got to know more survivors I realized that wasn’t uncommon. Guys just jumped out of their bunk and did what they had to do and realized later on they were still in their t-shirt and shorts. I’m very honored that my dad was at Pearl Harbor, and he was actually on the leading edge of radar.”
Train says no one knew the dangers of radar at the time, and his father died at the age of 27 from stomach cancer, probably caused by his exposure to radar.