OVERLAND PARK, KS (KCTV) -- 77-years ago Friday, America was attacked, and thousands of lives were lost.

Japan sent warplanes that dropped bombs onto the Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor.

Even many decades later, some who watched the attack happen, remember it still.

The attack changed the course of history, not just for the U.S., but the world.

“A day that will live in infamy,” said Jack Schroeder, survivor of Pearl Harbor.

Hundreds gathered around the country, as they do every year, to mark the 77th anniversary of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.

“My mother thought it was an air show,” expressed Schroeder.

Jack Schroeder was in Hawaii that day, on the front lines of what would be the U.S. entry into World War II. He was only 7-years-old.

“My father came out and she said he got out on the porch and about that time this Japanese plane flew over with the big rising sun on the wing. And he said, 'airshow, oh my god, this is war',” exclaimed Schroeder.

More than 2,000 Americans died, as bombs reigned down that fateful day.

Schroeder’s father was a high ranking naval officer stationed on the Kaneohe Military Base.

“He almost got killed three times,” proclaimed Schroeder.

Schroeder and his mother also survived before fleeing the island on a ship.

“I don’t remember being scared. There was a lot of excitement, but I didn’t understand what it was all about,” said Schroeder.

Through a child’s eyes, Schroeder remembers a trip to an enemy plane on the ground not far from his home.

He holds some memories close while others have faded. But he learned a valuable lesson that day, as America did too.

“We need to be prepared for the unexpected,” voiced Schroeder.

Schroeder moved to Kansas City in 1961. It’s been a tough year for him and he says his unlucky number is seven. His wife died on Feb. 7, Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, and it’s the 77th anniversary. Although, all those memories he will truly cherish.

Copyright 2018 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.


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