Pearl Harbor survivor speaks at Fayetteville ceremony

Posted: November 10, 2017 at 1:07 a.m.

NWA Democrat-Gazette/ANDY SHUPE James Downing, a 104-year-old Pearl Harbor survivor and World War II and Korean War Navy veteran, speaks Thursday alongside assistant Larry Watkins and Bryan Matthews, medical center director, during a Veterans Day ceremony at the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks in Fayetteville. A native of Oak Grove, Mo., Downing is thought to be the second oldest living survivor of the attack that served to propel the United States' involvement in the war.

The second oldest living Pearl Harbor survivor in the United States advised younger generations to keep America strong during his speech Thursday to a packed auditorium at Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks.

Veterans Day

Events planned in Northwest Arkansas include:

• Ceremony, 11 a.m. today, Becky Paneitz Student Center, Room 108, NorthWest Arkansas Community College. The public is welcome to attend.

• The Marine Corps Birthday Ball, 6 p.m. today, Holiday Inn in Springdale. The ball is open to all. Tickets are $45 per person or $360 for a table for eight. For more information, go to

• Veterans Day Parade, 10 a.m. Saturday. The parade will start at Fast Lanes on Dixieland Road in Lowell.

Source: Staff report

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