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Last Remaining Pearl Harbor Survivor In Tioga County Shares His Story On 76th Anniversary

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OWEGO, NY -

On the 76th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, the Owego VFW Post 1371 honored Owego and Tioga County survivors.

The last remaining Pearl Harbor survivor in Tioga County, Bill Kennedy, shared his story.

Kennedy, a 20-year-old U.S. Air Force mechanic at the time, took cover in a transformer building.

“I was fortunate to be able to have a place to hide during the raid. A lot of sailors and a lot of airmen didn’t have that.”

Kennedy was stationed in Hawaii after enlisting. He didn’t know his life was about to change forever.

“The advantage wasn’t on our side.”

The 96-year-old shares the piece of history every year, but this year was the hardest. He’s now in hospice and wasn’t sure if he’d be able to make the ceremony.

His stepson, Curtis Anthony, travels from Philadelphia every December 7th to see his stepdad honored, and couldn’t be prouder.

“It’s touching, it really is touching seeing Bill be recognized and seeing how Bill swells up when he gets recognized, and recalling events that he witnessed.”

Jim Raftis of the VFW Post 1371 takes pride in putting on the ceremony to celebrate and honor their local heroes.

“They served, they sacrificed, they protected our freedom, they should be honored. They should never be forgotten. It’s the key in Owego. Owego never forgets our veterans.”