Local News

Pearl Harbor survivor to students: 'War is hell'

Posted December 9, 2010 2:09 p.m. EST
Updated December 10, 2010 5:31 a.m. EST

— A Pearl Harbor survivor from Fuquay-Varina hopes that his story of the day that lives in infamy will teach young people about the value of peace.

James Bullock was a U.S. Marine when the Japanese navy attacked the U.S. Pearl Harbor military base in Hawaii on Dec. 7, 1941.

"The high-level bombers were coming in. You could see them dropping the bombs," Bullock said when describing the attack to students at Cardinal Gibbons High School in Raleigh Thursday.

More than 2,400 U.S. service members were killed, and nearly 1,300 wounded. The attack propelled the United States into World War II.

Bullock said he wanted students to know that war isn't like a movie or video game.

"Bodies burned, mangled, disfigured – that's war," he said.

Students took the lesson to heart and said they were thankful that Bullock's generation rose to the challenge.

"(WWII veterans) do not like to talk about their experiences, but when they do, they touch everyone," student Alison Glaser said.

"If it wasn't for what they did, then we wouldn't be where we are today as a country – united and free," student Greg Murray said.

Bullock said he hopes his story gets students to pay attention and think critically about what's happening in the world.

"And to make up their minds, is there something that can be done that hasn't been done to have peace instead of war?" he said.

"I would ask you the question, is war hell? You'll determine that one day."