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The infamy and the memory

Herald-Leader Staff Report

The 67th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, the Japanese attack that marked America's entry into World War II, was commemorated in Lexington Sunday.

Three Pearl Harbor survivors, Vaughn Drake of Lexington, Herman H. Horn of Frankfort and John C. Toy of Mount Sterling talked about their experiences in Hawaii during 1941. Drake, 90, was a 23-year-old private in the Army Corps of Engineers in 1941, and said he saw one of the first Japanese planes shot down in World War II. Horn, 88, was a 21-year old private in the Army's 97th coastal artillery unit, as was Toy. Toy said that he was getting ready to catch a bus to the beach when the attack occurred. "I thought I'd be lucky to ever get out of there," he said. Toy said that the Japanese aircraft were attacking in the harbor and nearby airfields, leaving his barracks largely undisturbed.

The Pearl Harbor Day program is an annual event that the Pearl Harbor Commemorative Association has been putting on since 1987. The group estimates 25 survivors of the attack currently live in Kentucky.