TORRNINGTON, CT (WFSB) - Friday marks the 77th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor which launched the United States into World War II.
A local 97-year-old survivor spoke of that fateful day.
On Friday at Coe Park in Torrington, one of the more special Pearl Harbor Day tributes took place.
That’s because one of their guests of honor was Isadore Tadiello of North Canaan, a lifelong Connecticut resident.
He’s now 97, but just a 20-year-old kid then, who had to grow up pretty quickly on that fateful day.
“December 7th, 1941 is a date which will live in infamy.”
Those famous words spoken by President Franklin D. Roosevelt marked the day the United States would enter into World War II.
The address came following the horrific attack on the US Naval Base in Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.
More than 2,300 people were killed and more than 1,000 injured when Japan launched a surprise attack reigning down bombs on battleships.
“My stomach couldn’t stop quivering for a week,” said Tadiello.
Tadiello, 20-years-old at the time, was aboard the USS Curtiss which was also under attack.
Today, as he was honored at a Pearl Harbor Day memorial ceremony in Torrington, the 97 year old reflected on the fear and chaos of that day especially the sounds of the Japanese bomber planes overhead.
“They were zooming around like mosquitoes. We were all amazed that we survived and we didn’t know whether we would be existing, whether we will survive or not,” said Tadiello.
After the war Tadiello, originally from Winsted, settled in North Canaan, married, had two children and worked as an electrical contractor.
His son Bill whom he lives with now says his dad would sometimes talk about that day of infamy.
“When they said man your battle stations he ran to his gun turret and nobody else showed up, so he was alone. He got behind it until others arrived and they started shooting back and they were credited with 7 plane take downs,” said Bill Tadiello.
A 21-gun salute, and taps played as other veterans and gathered in Torrington to mark the day.
Tadiello has remained active in veteran’s work and still speaks at schools about his experience.
He says while times have certainly changed in 77 years one thing has never changed.
“I’ve always been proud of America,” said Isadore.