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Staff photo, Shea Johnson
Simon Nasario, a Pearl Harbor veteran and Barstow resident, holds a certificate he received for military service while in Hawaii last week during Pearl Harbor's 71st anniversary.

Barstow resident and Pearl Harbor vet honored in Hawaii

Nasario visits site on 71st anniversary

Staff Writer

BARSTOW • On Dec. 7, 1941, Barstow resident Simon Nasario was a new Army draftee on first leave at his grandmother’s house on the island of Oahu when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.

Exactly 71 years later, he was back on the island, back to the scene of past wreckage and turmoil, to mourn the valor of the soldiers who lost their lives that day and receive a certificate from the city of Honolulu.

Nasario visited the USS Arizona Memorial and other war-stricken areas last weekend — his second straight trip to the island for Pearl Harbor’s anniversary. This year, however, he also visited nearby Ewa Plantation, where he received a framed certificate for his service to the country.

When asked about the feeling of being presented with the certificate, he said, “I don’t know how to express it.”

Nasario, born and raised on the Ewa Plantation, said main events from last weekend included a military recognition ceremony and moment of silence for those who fought and died during the attack.

“Ewa Boy,” as it states on his certificate, was still in basic training back then. His grandmother alerted him to a group of low-flying planes as they zoomed overhead. Once it was realized the U.S. was under attack, Nasario hurried back to his Army post. He and other soldiers were designated to various locations with rifles in hand in case a land attack occurred.

A few months later, Nasario guarded the first Japanese prisoner-of-war to be captured by American troops while at Sand Island — an internment camp for Italian, Japanese and German nationals.

His recognition this year was made possible by the city of Honolulu in conjunction with a group attempting to have Ewa Plantation declared a historical site.

“I’m honored they recognized us,” Nasario said.


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