Local Veteran Reflects on Pearl Harbor 64 Years Later

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As veterans of World War II are honored for their service to America this Pearl Harbor Day, Merlin Moore hopes his stories will honor the veterans who can't tell their own.

"Your friends and neighbors and relatives and people you love were saved by what these people did at pearl harbor and for three and a half years," he said.

Moore remembers how our soldiers were taken by surprise. How experts who were supposed to prevent catastrophe failed miserably.

"There wasn't very much for americans to be proud about at pearl harbor.

"We lost, pretty much, our Pacific Fleet: 350 airplanes, very close to 4,000 men."

The war that followed resulted in victory 3-and a half years later.

"There were guys from Augusta, Eau Claire, Fall Creek, Osseo, and all over this area that stood up and did what they had to do."

Decades after that, when his Sunday School classmates told him about how important his stories were, he started passing out an 84-page book he had written called "It's a Long, Long Road to Freedom."

"This is my heart and soul."

"Only through remembering those sacrifices that our people our veterans made on our behalf can we actually remain at the level and the caliber that we are," said Eau Claire County Veterans Service Officer Clifton Sorenson.

Part of the lesson Moore says we can all learn from a surprise attack 64 years ago..

"We aren't always perfect but everyone likes to be like us. They swim across the Rio Grande River to get to our country."

Because of veterans like Merlin Moore: the men and women who defended our freedom, and now work to insure that effort is never forgotten.