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Contact: Stephanie Loeb, 215-268-2614
Documentary Honors the Life of Arizona Survivor Raymond Haerry Sr.
Tim Gray, founder and chairman of the World War II Foundation and renowned documentary filmmaker, will premiere the foundation’s twentieth documentary, “Journey Home to the USS Arizona,” at World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument (VALR). The premiere is free and open to the public, and will take place on Sunday, December 3, at 6 p.m. in the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center theater.
The documentary follows the family of USS Arizona survivor, Raymond Haerry Sr., as they complete the 5,200-mile journey from New Jersey to Hawaii, to fulfill Haerry’s last wish, to be interred with his shipmates aboard the Arizona. Haerry was one of the 335 men on board the Arizona that survived the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor – another 1,177 did not survive.
“This is not your traditional Pearl Harbor film,” said Gray. “It is the story of an individual’s experience and his impact on his country and his family.” After being thrown by the explosion off the Arizona, he swam ashore to Ford Island, picked up a firearm, and fired on the Japanese planes. Haerry continued to serve during WWII and the Korean War and retired as a Master Chief Petty Officer. Raymond Haerry Sr. passed away in September 2016 at the age of 94. This past April, he became the 42nd survivor to rejoin his fellow shipmates for eternity on the USS Arizona.
“Everything that we enjoy today is largely in part a reminder of those who served during that critical time in world history,” said VALR Chief Historian, Daniel Martinez. Haerry seldom talked about his experience at Pearl Harbor, though it was a defining moment in his life. His only grandchild, Jessica Marino, had only heard bits and pieces of her grandfather’s story.
As she traveled with her young family, she was in awe of the honors and gratitude her family received. “When presented with the opportunity, Americans will certainly go above and beyond in honoring its veterans,” said Gray. “My hope is that people will watch this documentary and want to learn more.”
The Pearl Harbor Visitor Center will reopen for the premiere at 5:30 p.m. Tim Gray will be available to meet with viewers after the premiere and sign copies of his documentary.