Is the Country Forgetting Pearl Harbor Day?

December 7, 2012 Updated Dec 7, 2012 at 8:03 PM EDT

By Ed Reilly

...
December 7, 2012 Updated Dec 7, 2012 at 8:03 PM EDT

BUFFALO, N.Y (WKBW) The number of World War II veterans still alive is shrinking at a fast rate, and because of that, there is concern that America is beginning to forget Pearl Harbor Day.

"I think unfortunately we are {forgetting} because we are losing our World War II veterans at an alarming rate. Statistics point out that we are losing over 1,000 World War II veterans per day due to old age. So, with the loss of them also goes the memory of their sacrifice." said Lt. Col (retired), Kelly Carrigg.

"Unless we continue to teach what happened at Pearl Harbor, it will fade into memory."

The surprise Japanese attack crippled America's Pacific Fleet and pushed the United States into World War II.

2402 people were killed in the attack with another 1282 injured.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in his address to Congress called December 7, 1941 "a date that will live in infamy."

Several US Navy ships were sunk and damaged, the most famous being the Battleship USS Arizona which still sits were it was sunk with the remains of hundreds of sailors still inside.

For decades after the attack, communities across the country would commemorate the day with flags being displayed and veteran parades.

"Very, very patriotic," explained 89-year old World War II veteran Richard Carrigg.

"But all of that is just gone. It is sad." commented Carrigg.

Lt. Col. Dick Waring, another World War II veteran, said his neighbors were confused when they saw him putting out the US Flag.

"My neighbor wanted to know what it was for and I said, "Pearl Harbor."