Last month marked the 78th Anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor which has been immortalized in the words of Franklin D Roosevelt as “A date that will live in infamy”. For most of us, this is an important historical date. We study it in school and we learn about the significance of the events of this day thrusting the United States into World War II all at once.
But, for a very small group of individuals, the events of that morning are a memory of a day that changed their entire world. Today we salute Lauren Bruner of the United States Navy. he is one of these brave Americans. One of the most significant losses in the attack was the Battleship Arizona, which lies on the bottom of the harbor to this day. On that December morning the Arizona took only 9 minutes to sink after the surprise attack. 1,178 of her crew died. Just 335 survived the attack.
Lauren Bruner was one of those 335 sailors to escape with his life.
Bruner was a fire controlman on the Arizona, and he was just 21 years old on December 7th, 1941.
Bruner was hit by gunfire, and suffered burns over 70% of his body while trying to escape the sinking and burning ship.
He spent weeks in a naval hospital recovering before he could return to his life.
On September 10th of last year just months shy of the 78th anniversary of the event, Lauren Bruner passed away in a hospital bed at the age of 98 years old.
Bruner was laid to rest in an urn in the Arizona, with his shipmates, on the anniversary of the attack just last month.
There are just 3 more surviving crew members of the Arizona. Each of these men have not elected to be interred with the Ship, but to be laid to rest with family when their time comes.
And that means, with Lauren Bruner aboard, The USS Arizona finally has her entire crew.