ARCHIVE: Local Man Shares Pearl Harbor Story - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

ARCHIVE: Local Man Shares Pearl Harbor Story


La Crosse, WI (WXOW)-- It's been 70 years since the bombing of Pearl Harbor, but December 7, 1941 is a day fresh in the mind of Dick Swantz.

"When Pearl Harbor hit, I was 6 years old, but I can recall, very vividly, that morning when, Sunday morning, we were getting ready to go to church," Swantz said. "And the radio came on with this announcement."

Swantz lived in Fond du Lac, but his brother, Addison, was in the Air force. He was stationed at Hickam, the base next to Pearl Harbor.

"It was a period of time, I think it was about two days when we didn't know what happened to Addison," Swantz said.

Finally, the phone rang. It was Addison and he was ok.

"It was a really big deal, it was shouted around the house and there was a lot of celebration," Swantz recalled.

For Swantz that day brought the war right into his home.

"As young as I was, you knew there was something very serious going on here," Swantz said. "And when I related it to this very special person, my brother, my hero, then it became very personal as well."

Swantz, who also served in the military, says it's important for people to remember Pearl Harbor and all that followed. That's why he shares his story.

"I just think it's terribly important for people to understand what happened before them," Swantz said. "And what kind of sacrifices were made so you and I can sit here and talk about this."

Addison died about 20 years ago but Swantz continues to talk about his brother who served his country.

"He was a hero," Swantz said.

A hero he remembers especially on this day, December the 7th.

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