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Published December 07, 2013, 10:31 AM

WWII Veteran reflects on serving in Navy after Pearl Harbor attack

Today marks the 72nd anniversary of the attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy on Pearl Harbor.

By: Michael Yoshida, WDAZ

by the Imperial Japanese Navy on Pearl Harbor.

Words and an event that have been immortalized throughout history.

An attack that many have experienced through history books and the movies.

But for one East Grand Forks resident, that day and war, is something that remains fresh in his mind.

Clarence Olson/WW II Veteran: “It's something that I think we will never forget because it's something that happened and that we are sorry it happened.”

Clarence Olson, who was born and raised in Northwood, North Dakota, had just graduated high school and entered the navy, when Pearl Harbor was attacked.

Nineteen at the time, Clarence would arrive in Hawaii just days after the Japanese bombings.

Olson: “It's just something that I'll never forget. I could not believe what I saw…something will stick with me for as long as I live.”

A sailor on the USS Salerno Bay, Clarence experienced much during the Pacific War, including the battles of Iwo Jima, Okinawa and Midway.

Olson: “I did what I had to do.”

It was on the USS Salerno Bay, preparing for a possible invasion of the Tokyo bay, where Clarence would learn that the Pacific War had come to an end with the surrender of Japan.

Olson: It was the best thing I've ever heard in my life.