Pearl Harbor Survivor & USS Arizona Memorial Greeter Dies At 99Screen Shot 2016-12-14 at 3.19.10 PM
An Army veteran and survivor of the Pearl Harbor attacks on December 7, 1941 died on Monday, just days after the 75th observance of the attack.
Herb Weathermax, 99, was at the ceremony last week commemorating 75 years since the attack, but on Monday he passed away, National Park Service spokeswoman Rebecca Schwab told the Associated Press.
Weathermax is a native Hawaiian who was raised on Hawaii’s Big Island and later was drafted in June 1941. He was stationed at Schofield Barracks on Oahu.
During the morning of the attack, he was on a weekend pass in Honolulu until he heard loud explosions. He was then recalled to his duty station.
Weathermax witnessed the USS Arizona go up in flames and the USS Oklahoma turn on its side.
More recently, Weathermax greeted people at the visitors center for the memorial of the USS Arizona multiple times a week. He rode around in his motorized scooter educating people that visited the historic site, while wearing a cap that read “Pearl Harbor Survivor.”
“This is my reason to continue to keep going,” Weatherwax told The Associated Press in 2013. “Otherwise, it’s time for me to say goodbye.”
“Papa was ready, and it was a strong yet peaceful death,” his daughter Carrie Weatherwax said in a statement Tuesday distributed by the Navy. “As with this ‘Greatest Generation,’ Papa left this earth with dignity and grace.”