I met Darrel 20 years ago. His son Rick had called the radio station and set me up to participate in a celebrity pheasant hunt near Yankton, South Dakota. We exchanged pleasantries at the hunt. But Darrel was different. He asked for my phone number, which I gave him and he called me.

Fast forward 20 years. Chris, I mean Darrel is gone, [his nickname was Chris] but I still think of him. Usually two times a year. Memorial Day and December; the anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor.

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Most of us are too young to remember the attack, so we rely on people like Darrel to tell the story. He was there. Seventeen years old. When he looked at me as he told the story, you could tell by the look in his eye and the sound in his voice, it was as if he could instantly transport himself to that place and that day.

One Monday morning, Rick Christopherson dropped me an innocuous text. A picture from a deer hunt. But it got me thinking. Rick was probably sending a text because his Dad was on his mind. Mine was on mine too this morning. My Dad was also in the Navy. I texted Rick back and asked about Chris. His Dad. Darrel. Yep. He was on Rick's mind too.

It's good we remember. Darrel's stories helped me better understand the loss, helped me understand the gravity of the Attack on Pearl Harbor brought. So, I dug into the archives a bit and brought this jewel of the cave. Want to find out more about the USS Vestal? Check it out here.

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Images of Pearl Harbor - The Day and the Memorial

December 7, 1941. The day which has lived in infamy. The day Japan attacked the American naval base in Hawaii and brought the US into World War II.

LOOK: 100 years of American military history



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