A World War II veteran returned to Pearl Harbor of on the day of Japan’s horrific attack on Honolulu to commemorate its 81 anniversary, where he received an amazing hero’s welcome.
“I’m not worthy,” Ira “Ike” Schab, 102, said as officers greeted him with a ceremonial water salute. “Who’s worth all this?”
Two women who worked as engineers and line worked as part of the “Rosie the Riveters” workforce movement, also made the trip and were equally moved by the welcome, insisting “we’re not heroes”
“We just wanted to do our job and get the guys home,” Sousa told Hawaii News Now.
Schab was only 21 when Japanese pilots bombed the naval base on December 7, 1941. He was a saxophone player assigned to the band aboard the USS Dobbin, he was present at the base to meet with his brother when the attack began.
Schab’s daughter, Kimberly Heinrichs, last year described the difficulty her father had faced on that day as he had told her about pulling bodies out of the water. He did not open up much about what he saw until he was much older she stated. My Grandfather was the exact same way.
Today Schab lives in Oregon, in a town called Aloha just outside of Portland. What are the chances?
He’s now attended the remembrance ceremony four times.
“I wouldn’t miss it because I got an awful lot of friends that are still here that are buried here. I come back out of respect for them,” he said.
The veteran of WWII tries to return to Hawaii whenever he can to commemorate the fallen and remember his friends and colleagues that died on that dreadful day that will live in infamy.
His son, Karl, also retired from the Navy, called the reception for the heroes “overwhelming,” revealing that the display brought tears to his eyes.
Schab, Sousa and Wynn will attend the Pearl Harbor Commemoration on Dec. 7, which will culminate in a Remembrance Parade that evening in Waikiki.
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