WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump today honored Baldwinsville native Lawrence Parry, a veteran who survived the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.
Parry, 97, was one of six veterans to attend a White House ceremony where Trump proclaimed the date “National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.”
Parry was a 21-year-old Army motor mechanic stationed on Oahu in 1941 when Japanese forces launched a surprise aerial attack on the military base there. More than 2,400 Americans were killed in the attack.
He told The Post-Standard in 2004 he was playing football that Sunday morning when the attack began. He was getting up from being tackled when he saw planes overhead.
At the White House ceremony, Trump described Parry and his comrades as heroes and praised them as the first Americans to fight back in World War II.
“Outnumbered and outgunned, they did not hesitate,” Trump said.
The president took a moment to individually recognize each of the six veterans at the ceremony. Of Parry, he said this, according to a White House transcript:
“Lawrence Parry carried ammunition to the gunners. In thinking about the lessons of Pearl Harbor, Larry said he hopes ‘we can build up the military again.’
“We are building up the military beyond what you ever thought. It got depleted. You know what happened over the last quite long period of time, but not with us.
“Our budget is now going to be higher than ever before. We’re building it up again. And we’ll do it in your honor. Okay? We’re building it up. The best equipment in the world — we make it. And we’re supplying it in very big numbers. Thanks. Thanks. And we’re doing a job.”
Trump said he planned to invite all the men back every year for the next seven years.
“And again, we’ll do it for another seven years, okay?” he said. “Seven years. And you all have to promise you’re going to be around, right? We’re going to be around. We’re going to be around and we’re going to be together, okay?”
Today, as we Remember Pearl Harbor, it was an incredible honor to be joined with surviving Veterans of the attack on 12/7/1941. They are HEROES, and they are living witnesses to American History. All American hearts are filled with gratitude for their service and their sacrifice. pic.twitter.com/x5LDl25o30
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 7, 2017
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) December 7, 2017