Veterans, families and local dignitaries gathered at the Zaloga American Legion Post in Albany this morning to recognize the 69th anniversary of the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor.
In attendance were six local men who survived that attack. Bill Langston, of Cohoes; Charles Ebel, of Westmere; Nick Elacqua, of Albany; John Sloboda, of Cohoes; Robert Grimm, of Schenectady; and AJ Krenn, of Delmar, all received special recognition for their service.
All six have remarkable stories of that day in 1941. Krenn, for one, was blown over the side of the USS USS West Virginia when it was hit by a torpedo. He managed to swim to safety on Ford Island, and later served the rest of the war on the cruiser USS Salt Lake City and the Gardiner Bay.
More than 2,400 Americans did not survive the attack on Pearl Harbor. They were saluted Tuesday by all present, as were those veterans in attendance.
In the final analysis, it was your indomitable spirit to go forward from that terrible day and make sure we were victorious, and we were, said Albany County Executive Michael Breslin. "I salute you all. Thank you, we celebrate your presence among us."
Also at the ceremony were Rensselaer County Executive Kathleen Jimino, Colonie Supervisor Paula Mahan, Assemblyman Bob Reilly, a representative from Assemblyman James Tedisco's office and Albany Mayor Gerald Jennings.
"Without the courage of our service men and women the outcome of the war could have been very different," Jennings said during the ceremony. "We are all humbled to be here with you.""