Pearl Harbor survivor laid to rest in the Valley

PHOENIX (KSAZ) -- Friday marks the 77th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, an attack that drew the United States into World War II.

With most survivors of that day now in their 90's, there aren't many of them left, and one recently passed away in the Valley.

Marvin Rewerts passed away a little more than a week ago, and on Monday, he was honored at the Arizona Veterans Cemetery.

"Greatest grandfather anybody could ever ask for," said Rewerts' granddaughter, Joycelynn. "I'm sure every granddaughter says that, but I was so proud going to the Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day every year, and to be able to just honor him, I want to be able to do that after he's passed."

Joycelynn reached out to FOX 10, saying she wanted to share what a great man her grandfather was. His son talking about how close he was to death.

"At the end of the war, his shift was hit by the last call Kamikaze attack," said Rewerts' son, Bret. "Took out 38 of his crew members, including the captain. He was in the hospital for almost a year after that."

Sunday, December 7, 1941, was when the Japanese bombs came falling down from the sky at Pearl Harbor. More than 2,000 Americans were killed, and more than 1,000 hurt. This attack happened while American diplomats and the Imperial Japanese government were still in negotiations, and so it came as a complete surprise to those in our country at the time. Bret said his father was all about forgiveness.

"There was a lot of Japanese people there to celebrate and to remember, and I was worried about my father, how he would take that, and he welcome them with open arms," said Bret.

Despite going through all that pain and loss, Rewerts never lost his spirit and his love for beer. 

On Friday, there will be a moment of silence at 7:55 a.m., which is about the time the attacks began. At the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial Visitor Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, all of the Pearl Harbor survivors will be honored.

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