Santa escorts Pearl Harbor survivor, 105, to Hawaii for 76th anniversary of the attack
SAN DIEGO — Navy veteran Ray Chavez went to Hawaii to be honored on the 76th anniversary of Pearl Harbor.
At 105, he is the oldest living Pearl Harbor survivor.
On Tuesday, you could hear Christmas bells outside Terminal 2. They were coming from William Davis of the Spirit of Liberty Foundation.
“We certainly have his generation to thank for saving the world,” Davis said.
He was dressed in a custom Santa suit made out of military cammies. It was a special day for him because he was there to escort Chavez.
When Chavez saw Davis, he said, “Good morning Santa!”.
He was going to tell me what his Christmas wish was. “I can’t think of it right now,” Chavez said. “I’m very forgetful.”
He vividly remembers the harrowing attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
“That’s the start of the war, and I was right in the middle of it,” Chavez explained. “I try not to think about it, but I always do, and I never will forget it.
“A lot of them were killed or wounded badly and that’s why I come.”
He will be honored at the 76th Remembrance Ceremonies in Pearl Harbor, and he will quietly be honoring the fallen.
“I’ll be praying for their soul,” Chavez said.
The Spirit of Liberty Foundation, which is a local non-profit, paid for his trip. “Feels pretty good,” Chavez said with a big grin.