Thursday marked 82 years since the attack on Pearl Harbor that pushed the U.S. into World War II. The attack killed nearly 2,500 people.
Dick Higgins, age 102, was one of the survivors. A special ceremony was held at Bend High School, where students got to applaud one of the few surviving veterans from that day.
The names of 33 graduates who died in World War II were also read — lives lost in a war the country was thrust into.
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At home, Higgins shared with us his memories — from growing up in Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl to the living through the Great Depression.
“There was no jobs. Had to eat,” Dick said.
Enlisting in the Navy was an opportunity.
“Most of the time got three square meals a day and a place to sleep,” he said.
His assignment placed him in the crosshairs of history.
“Hawaii calls,” he said.
Known to his family as Gramps. Higgins lives with his granddaughter, Angela Norton, and her family in Bend. Ninety-three years separates great-grandfather from great-grandson.
“They know that they are living with a Pearl Harbor survivor, but one day they’ll really get it,” Angela said.
A life enriched with Gramps’ stories.
“I’m guessing it was really scary,” his great-grandson said when talking about Pearl Harbor.
“We were very busy,” Dick said. “We were afraid. We were also very busy doing what we were trained to do.
“Those memories of those days are pretty incredible still and pretty much intact and have a lot of detail. I really appreciate that my kids are hearing firsthand,” Angela said.