Remembering Pearl Harbor…A Memphian’s Goal

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. —  Sadly the number of Pearl Harbor survivors is dwindling.

As they die, we lose their important memories of what they experienced on the “day that shall remain in infamy.”

But one Memphis man is doing his part to make sure no one ever forgets.

“What I have here is an original copy of the Commercial Appeal dated December 7th, 1941. That was 75-years ago today,” said Paul Presley.

Presley works in Logistics at the VA Hospital in Memphis. On the 75th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, he shares with other veterans a page from history. One that has been passed down through generations.

“This was part of my great aunt’s estate. And it’s one of those things, that when I saw it folded in the trunk, I immediately nabbed it and knew that I wanted to keep it,” said Paul Presley.

Presley, a Vietnam veteran, felt it important to show the newspaper to other veterans.

“You can hold something that somebody held probably on one of the worst days the country ever had,” Presley told other veterans.

Men from different branches of service, from different wars, but with the same dedication to America.

“This is very educational. And this here would help a lot of people understand what actually happened at Pearl Harbor,” said Army and Navy veteran John Burkhart.

Presley has no idea what the newspaper is worth and he doesn’t really care.

He just wanted veterans to be able to see and touch the printed word.

Iraq War veteran Anthony Smith says in today’s “social media” driven world the newspaper speaks volumes.

“These days you can Google search anything, ask Siri what you need. But to be able to see, touch and feel and know for yourself that you read it…actually read a piece of history,” said Anthony Smith, Iraq War veteran.

Presley says he wants to display the newspaper at the VA where he works, so as many patients can see it as possible.

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