SAN BENITO, Texas (ValleyCentral)- Eighty years ago on December 7, 1941, a surprise attack by the Imperial Japanese Air Service on Pearl Harbor killed 2,403 U.S. personnel, including 68 civilians.
Although decades ago, veterans from across the Valley, Arizona, and California took the morning of Dec. 4 to remember the fallen.
U.S. Army Veteran, Joe Fusco told ValleyCentral that this day means even more to him as his Great Uncle died in Arizona and is still in a tomb on that ship today.
Navy Veteran, David ‘Gunner’ Mann said that December 7 is an emotional day to remember as he can only imagine the pain and suffering those who were killed went through. He’s attended the Pearl Harbor National Memorial in Honolulu, HI, and added it’s heart-wrenching to be there.
Although there are memorials in dedication and history written in textbooks, Mann commented he has spoken with a lot of people in the Valley, and most don’t know that Pearl Harbor happened.
Mann and Fusco along with over 50 other bikers took to the streets of San Benito in an effort to help spread that education and message to other Valley residents.
The ride along started in San Benito, passed through Raymondville and Port Isabel, and ended in Brownsville.
Aside from honoring the Pearl Harbor victims, the ride-along will also be donating all the proceeds to Valley Veterans Foreign Wars (VFW) posts as well as American Legions.
Fusco is hoping that beyond this ride-along, RGV educators will push for their students to better understand and remember Pearl Harbor as “it has a big significance of who we are as a country.” He also said it adds as a reminder about our past and what the future of our community can be.