By Chris Winters Herald Writer
It’s been 72 years, but veterans of Pearl Harbor are not forgotten.
Norma Rae and Brad Pilkenton, who together run the Snohomish County Central Memorial Committee, have been organizing the memorial every year for the past two decades, even though the numbers of survivors of the Dec. 7, 1941, attack dwindle every year.
Between 25-50 people usually show up for the Pearl Harbor memorial, said Norma Rae Pilkenton.
The memorial is smaller than the committee’s Memorial Day and Veterans Day events, which often draw more than 100 veterans and the public.
“Most of them cannot come out any longer in the cold weather,” she said.
Brad Pilkenton, chairman of the committee, said the memorial is especially important now that World War II veterans are “going by the wayside” and younger generations don’t have that direct experience of the war.
“People forget sometimes,” he said. “It’s not just a Veterans Day sale.”
The message for younger generations is “Be alert. Don’t ever let this happen again,” said Walter Bailey, an Army veteran from Marysville who was with a searchlight and radar unit near Pearl Harbor when the attack took place.
The committee’s memorial is open to the public and will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Eternal Flame on the Snohomish County campus in Everett.
Another remembrance will be held Friday on the grounds of Naval Station Everett. At least one local veteran of Pearl Harbor will be there.
The Navy memorial is only open to military members, veterans and guests who registered for the event.