My stepfather, Ollie, died on this day twenty-five years ago. I checked the fifteen years that I’ve been writing this blog to see how often I’ve mentioned his passing. If you’re interested, go to my website and type “Ollie” into the search field. I acknowledge him again today, but I want to acknowledge someone else too.
Most people think of December 7 as “a date which will live in infamy” according to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s speech after Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese on this day. Lauren Bruner was one of them.
He was among 334 crew members who survived that attack seventy-eight years ago. He was also the second to the last man to escape the USS Arizona before it sank to its watery grave with 1102 sailors and Marines still onboard and doomed.
Bruner died this past September and had requested that his remains be returned to the USS Arizona to be with the companions who didn’t make it out. According to USA Today, Bruner “wanted to return to his ship because few people go to cemeteries, while more than a million people visit the Arizona each year.” His wishes were granted a few days ago.
I salute Bruner and remember him this year along with my stepfather, Ollie.