71 years ago from Friday, thousands of Americans were killed by a surprise attack at Pearl Harbor. In memory of that day, one KOTA Territory survivor tells his tale.
He's told his story many times before. "I was sound asleep and the first bomb dropped and it was intended for me," said Pearl Harbor survivor Stan Lieberman.
But every time it's just as unforgettable as the first. "I had a rude awakening that morning," said Lieberman.
In 1941he was training to be an aerial photographer and was stationed on Oahu, on the opposite side from Pearl Harbor. "I was in the army and I had never fired a gun, and that morning they handed me a rifle," said Lieberman.
But he says he wasn't afraid, "I never saw one instance that morning of fear or cowardous, everybody wanted to do something."
At the time the solders had no idea what was happening across the island, but the next day Lieberman saw the destruction with his own eyes. "The majority of the ships were sinking or sunk, and there were literally hundreds of little boats going all over the harbor trying to find bodies," said Lieberman.
He says the scene was unbelievable, "Here's the greatest army and navy in the world and we're destroyed, but we overcame."
And 71 years later at 95 years young Lieberman can look back on a full and happy life, as one of the few survivors of a day Americans will never forget.
"I've had a lot of good experiences here, so I have no regrets," said Lieberman.
In 1958 the South Dakota Pearl Harbor Survivors Association was founded. Lieberman says at that time there were about 37 survivors in KOTA Territory, but now there are only a handful left.