Today is the day we remember the attack on Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941. While many of us have looked over the official casualty lists from that horrific day, we may not be aware that some of the remains have never been identified. 25% of the 2,400 remains, to be exact.
Ray Emory has made it his mission to identify those remains. He is 91 and a survivor of the attack, so perhaps this makes his mission even more personal. Emory has spent the last 20 years sifting through records, pushing to have bodies exhumed so forensic experts could search for clues to the victims’ identities. He has gotten the government to add ship names to tombstones, too.
Emory started his project 20 years. He walked along graves, taking notes. His research has been intensive and consuming.
Though he met with some resistance, his efforts have not gone unrecognized. Today, Emory was honored by the Navy and the National Park Service for his efforts.
You can read about Emory’s efforts to give the unknowns back their names.
Here’s more on the 71st Anniversary Memorial