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Pearl Harbor survivor from Sleepy Hollow honored at 77th anniversary commemorationPosted: Updated:
Friday marked the 77th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor and one Sleepy Hollow resident says he remembers it like it was yesterday.
The Intrepid Museum honored the service and sacrifice of 97-year-old Armando Galella, of Sleepy Hollow and 99-year-old James Blakely, of Little Rock, Arkansas.
Galella was a 20-year-old private stationed at Hickam Field in Hawaii when the sneak attack left more than 2,000 people dead.
The Sleepy Hollow resident recalled what it was like at the base when the attack happened.
"Went down to the mess hall, got through eating my breakfast, all I heard...woomp!" says Galella. "Saw Japanese red circles flying overhead."
After escaping the carnage, Galella and his unit spent a week in an inactive volcano. When they came out, Pearl Harbor was unrecognizable.
"It was a disaster," he says. "All we saw was black smoke coming out of Pearl Harbor."
After the ceremony aboard the Intrepid, Galella tossed a ceremonial wreath into the Hudson River.
Galella says he does not consider himself a hero. He says the real heroes are the ones who lost their lives on that day 77 years ago.