PORTSMOUTH, Va. – World War II Navy veteran Lawrence Mondy, 91, was just a young boy when Pearl Harbor was attacked, but that dreadful day on Dec. 7, 1941, is one he says he’ll never forget.
“When Pearl Harbor came, it was on a Sunday,” Mondy said. “I was returning home from a meeting and the news came over that Pearl Harbor had been bombed. Of course, the next day that was the talk of the town- the talk of the world, really - and I wanted to be in the service.”
The devastating attack that launched the country into WWII propelled Mondy to enlist.
During his 23 years of service, fighting in the Second World War and in the Korean and Vietnam Wars, his brothers-in-arms would tell him about that day 80 years ago.
“Mostly they’d tell you about how afraid they were, and they had never witnessed mass bodies that were lost during that invasion when the bomb was dropped,” Mondy said. “This particular ship, the bomb exploded on it. They described how frightening it was, and they didn’t really, at that time, wouldn’t talk very much about detail.”
The 91-year-old Portsmouth father of five said he achieved one of his greatest ambitions when he joined the Navy, making it his career.
His hope is that others remember the sacrifices made and the lives lost during service so that history doesn’t repeat itself.
“I always hated that our country was attacked, and how so many lives, so much lost in Pearl Harbor,” said Mondy. “We’ve had so much change in our country. Discipline and training, love of country sort of things that generated that pride in being an American has sort of went down, dissipated. This situation with this country, hopefully that would never happen again, but here we are. Every time we look around we’re on the thresholds of another war, an outbreak and peace, it doesn’t seem to be nowhere in sight.”
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