American pride and American exceptionalism is back. It shows in the confidence our military has in their newly elected Commander in Chief and in the confidence Americans have in the private sector, thanks to our President and in his hard-working administration. For anyone who needs evidence, watch brave 94-yr old Pearl Harbor veteran Donald Stratton thank Trump for bringing the USA back together again after 8 long divided years under Barack Obama …
Lauren Bruner and Donald Stratton visited the White House on Friday, a trip they would have missed if a man named Joe George had not defied orders more than 75 years ago at Pearl Harbor.
Bruner, 96, Stratton, 94, along with Ken Potts, 95, were survivors of the USS Arizona, a battleship destroyed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. The three men reunited Friday at Arlington National Cemetery and then met with President Trump at the White House.
It was 94-yr. old Donald Stratton’s comments to President Trump that really struck a cord with him, as Trump asked Stratton to repeat his comments, as they would have likely been edited by the mainstream media in attendance at the special event. Trump told the press, “You’ll want to hear this folks, it’s very…it’s just a very beautiful statement. Stratton then told the cameras: “All the people we met today, and all the people that were lined along as we went along, you could tell with the military and everything, that this country’s coming together again, and we’re gonna be there!” Stratton then gave a mini-fist pump as he fought back the tears of pride over our new Commander in Chief:
As the number of Arizona survivors has dwindled to five — Bruner, Potts, Stratton, Lou Conter, 95, and Lonnie Cook, 96 — the group is increasingly vocal about their experience and in advocating for recognition of George, who saved the lives of Stratton and Bruner but never received any honors for doing so.
Coming to Washington, for the three survivors, meant more than time to honor those who were lost in the attack: It was also a chance to advocate for recognition for George.
Stratton said he was unable to ask Trump to honor his friend but was able to speak about George and feels like progress was made.
“We didn’t actually get any conversation with the president but all the conversation was in front of the press and we spoke about Joe George,” Stratton said. “I think we accomplished a lot today through that and getting his story out there.”
Stratton and Bruner survived the wreckage thanks to George’s bravery. George was on a neighboring ship, the Vestal, when the bombs hit the Arizona. He defied orders from an officer to leave the area and instead saved six men who were in a gunner’s control tower while their ship was engulfed in flames.
The six escaped when George threw a weighted rope to the Arizona and the men climbed hand over hand down it to the Vestal. Bruner was the second-to-last man to leave the ship.
Both Stratton and Bruner suffered severe burns and spent weeks in the hospital before returning to serve. The burns on Stratton’s hands smoothed his fingertips, removing the grooves and his ability to make an identifiable fingerprint.
Because George did not obey orders to leave the area, the Navy did not ever issue him a medal. Stratton believes he should receive a Navy Cross posthumously.
Trump thanked the veterans for their heroic service.
“There are many remarkable things that I witness as president, but nothing can take the place of meeting heroes like those with us today,” Trump said. “In them we see the strength of our nation, the courage of our men and women in uniform, the resolve to never accept failure, and the belief that justice will always triumph.”
The meeting was an honor Stratton says he never envisioned.
“This is something I never expected in my whole life I met some very interesting people, Stratton said. “This country is so apart and this is something which brings us together.”
The men were honored with a certificate memorializing their visit to the cemetery and a coin from the Old Guard Third Infantry Regiment, who guard the tomb. –AZ Central
Watch President Trump’s speech honoring the Pearl Harbor vets: