Gary Sinise helps oldest living Pearl Harbor survivor celebrate 105th birthday in style

It is crucial that we continue to honor and celebrate our veterans while they are still with us since they have given so much of themselves for us.

Actor Gary Sinise has made sure that all veterans are aware of our appreciation for them.



A lavish gala commemorating World War II veterans was scheduled to take place at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans on Wednesday. For the celebration of the oldest living veteran of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, people queued up outside the venue waving flags.

The major purpose of the celebration was to commemorate Californian Joseph Eskenazi, 105, of Redondo Beach. Eskenazi told the journalists, “It feels amazing.

The occasion was attended by Eskenazi’s great-grandson, who is now 5 years old, and great-granddaughter, who is 21 months old.
Eskenazi, who will be 105 on January 30, hopped on an Amtrak train in California on Friday to get to New Orleans in time for the celebration. For the occasion, other veterans from the Army, Navy, and Marines also flew in.



All of this was made possible by the Soaring Valor Program of actor Gary Sinise, a nonprofit organization that supports military personnel and first responders. Veterans of World War II and their guardians can take excursions to the museum with the help of the program.
Eskenazi was a first-class private in the Army at the time of the Pearl Harbor assault. He clearly recalls the incident, narrating how a bomb fell close to where he was resting but did not detonate, waking him up.

He also remembered Schofield Barracks, which was shaking from blasts when Japanese bombers sank the battleship USS Arizona. The veteran recalled that despite the dust being stirred up by German machine gun fire around them, he nevertheless offered to drive a bulldozer over a field so that it might be cleaned and used as a runway.

Eskenazi recalled, “I don’t even know why – my hand immediately went up when they asked for volunteers.” Because they were aware that raising their hand would result in death, no one else did. I acted inadvertently.
He was a military member at the Army’s Schofield Barracks when the attack on December 7, 1941, started and the United States entered the war. There were over 2,400 military fatalities.

Today at the museum, Eskenazi and other veterans posed for photos next to a variety of World War II planes and the Higgins boats, which were built with beach landings in mind.

Billy Hall, a veteran who joined the Marines in 1941 and advanced to the rank of major, thanked everyone for giving him a country that was worth fighting for.



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