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  • Writer's pictureValarie Jean Anderson

Pearl Harbor survivors and a great man

There are wonderful things that happen when you publish a book. Not only do you have the gratification of having completed something dear to your heart, you hear from people. With my second book, Pearl Harbor’s Final Warning, the wonders of our connected world are landing at my feet. Because this book presents new and detailed information about why the surprise attack was a surprise, I decided I would send free copies to Pearl Harbor survivors. Unfortunately, there aren’t many left.

In fact the man who ws instrumental in keeping me motivated and who filled in details with his razor sharp mind, died shortly after he held my book in his hands. I am honored to have known him, blessed to have been a part of his life, so grateful he was my uncle.

As hard as it was to lose George Street, Jr.—he was 99—there are others who brightened my day. I didn’t expect to hear from the few survivors I found. Most are pushing 100 like George, after all. Recently, I received a wonderful thank you card for my book from the last living survivor in Louisiana, Joe Richard. His daughter wrote the note for him, but he signed it. She is going to read my book to him.

I found Joe on the internet, of course. He had been serving on the USS Rigel when the Japanese struck and forever changed his life. He pulled survivors from the Oklahoma and Arizona. He included his phone number so I could call him and I will.

Pearl Harbor survivor, Marv Emmerson, had his daughter take a picture of him with my book, and he’s given me permission to share it. Marv served on the destroyer Selfridge, 7 December 1941. He just turned 99 and is looking hale and hearty. Any man who survived that day deserves to live to a ripe old age.

I’ve only found seven survivors so far. I hope there are more. Our country still needs their steadfast courage, patriotism, and spunk. If you know of a survivor please contact me at I’d love to send them my book for free.

It’s the least I do to thank them for securing the freedom I enjoy today so I can “Remember Pearl Harbor.”

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