102-year-old Pearl Harbor survivor honored in Hawaii ahead of remembrance ceremony
HONOLULU (KHNL/KGMB/Gray News) - Pearl Harbor attack survivor Ira “Ike” Schab got a hero’s welcome on Friday.
KHNL/KGMB reports the Oregon resident returned to Honolulu for the 81st-anniversary commemoration of the attack.
The Pacific Fleet band and honor guard greeted Schab as he got off a Hawaiian Airlines flight, which received a ceremonial water salute, at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.
Schab — a musician in the U.S. Navy and assigned to the USS Dobbin — was 21 when Pearl Harbor was attacked.
Now, he’s 102 years old.
“I’m not worthy. Who’s worth all this?” Schab said, holding back tears as he remembered his friends and many others who lost their lives that day.
“Those are the ones I want to salute,” he said.
According to Schab, flying back these days is a little harder. He almost didn’t make it this year after several health issues, including a fear of pneumonia.
But Schab said he’ll keep coming back for those who can’t.
“I wouldn’t have missed it,” he said. “You could have gotten me here in a hospital bed.”
Schab’s son, Karl, is also retired from the Navy and spent four years in Hawaii, sharing a special bond to the islands like his father.
“It’s overwhelming; it really, really made me tear up,” he said.
Also arriving in Honolulu: Two California women who were among the six million who joined the workforce during World War II as part of the “Rosie the Riveters” movement.
“It’s so unreal,” said Marian Wynn, who was 18 and worked as a pipe welder during WWII.
“We’re not heroes; we just wanted to do our job and get the guys home,” said Marian Sousa, who was part of an engineering team.
The Pearl Harbor Commemoration is scheduled for Dec. 7 at 7 a.m.
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