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PLATFORM : Some Can't Forget

December 01, 1991|STANLEY FARYNIARZ | STANLEY FARYNIARZ of Los Alamitos was a seaman first class on the battleship Pennsylvania at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. The 75-year-old Faryniarz commented on this week's 50th anniversary of the attack. He told The Times:

There are some dates that remain seared in memory. Although these dates fade in retrospect for most Americans, it stands out in old relief, vivid and horrifying for American servicemen who were on duty in Hawaii on Dec. 7, 1941.

Fifty years later, I still remember with startling clarity the Sunday morning Pearl Harbor erupted into a scorching nightmare. It was a day that was aptly designated to live in infamy.

My part in this historic moment was on the Pennsylvania, which sat in dry dock. I remember seeing a dive bomber breaking through the high overcast to drop its 500-pound bomb that knocked me off my feet, pinning me against the bulkhead. Though I suffered flash burns all over my face and arms, I was one of the fortunate ones.

The Japanese had timed it right for a sneak attack, showing in catastrophic detail how ill-prepared the United States was.

Though the world has changed, with onetime enemies now allies, some memories cannot be erased.

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