SCRANTON -- Officials in Lackawanna County are rededicating a plaque in honor of county natives who were at the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Another plaque was dedicated on the 75th anniversary of the attack back in December, but it was unintentionally left incomplete.
On a chilly December afternoon, Courthouse Square's latest adornment was unveiled -- a plaque bearing 31 names, veterans from Lackawanna County who were present for the attack on Pearl Harbor.
After a year's worth of research, 31 seemed like an accurate number to organizer Charlie Spano, but then his phone started ringing and the number of stories tripled.
"This has been a thrill," said Spano. "The joy that the families feel at having this recognition is just deeply moving to me. People haven't thought about some of these things in years and decades in their own family, and now they're bringing it forward because we initiated this effort."
Spano started compiling those stories and the Pearl Harbor vets are now also remembered in a book he plans to place in every county library.
One of those stories can still speak for himself.
"I gave Charlie five more names, but they're all deceased," said Walter Pasiak. "I'm the last survivor from Lackawanna County."
Walter Pasiak, 94, of south Scranton is the only living name on the list now numbered at 109. He's proud to be on that list and humble about being the one who will get to see the plaque dedicated in their honor.
"There were wars before and there's going to be wars after. It's a tradition that you got to go through, and that's life," he said.
Pasiak will lead the crowd in the pledge of allegiance at the ceremony, and if this day for the rededication seems arbitrary, it's not. This is the 75th anniversary of the Doolittle raid, the Army's attack on Tokyo in response to the Pearl Harbor attack.