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Bombing of Pearl Harbor remembered 80 years later at Laurel ceremony

Posted at 8:22 AM, Dec 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-08 10:22:43-05

It’s hard to believe it’s been 80 years since the bombing of Pearl Harbor. At the Yellowstone National Cemetery in Laurel, people came together to honor the fallen.

For many who are gathered at the cemetery, the memories of Pearl Harbor are still very personal.

“I’m here to honor my father, who was a Pearl Harbor survivor,” said Vicki Kenyon of Joliet.

Kenyon’s father, Victor Hergett, was a Navy chief who was in the boiler room of his ship when the bombings began.

“My dad was on the U.S.S Maryland. His ship was on the inside of what they call Battle Row,” Kenyon said.

Hergett was one of many who volunteered to fight the oil fires that had erupted on the U.S.S West Virginia after the bombs dropped.

“At the moment they realized what was happening and our freedom was being jeopardized and they had to spring into action,” Kenyon said.

Hergett’s actions would help save the lives of his fellow crewman. These actions are immortalized 80 years later.

Kenyon recounted the stories of her father, honoring his memory by remembering the sacrifice he and so many others endured.

“And so it is very emotional for me today, to go back. My dad passed in 2015,” said Kenyon.

His passing has only fueled Kenyon’s passion to keep the memory alive.

“We have to not forget. We have to remember and honor those,” Kenyon said.

On this day, when all of Montana’s Pearl Harbor veterans are remembered, Kenyon hopes her father is somehow watching.

“He would be very shocked, but very pleased and proud. I know he would be,” Kenyon said.

The ceremony featured a color guard from Laurel American Legion Post 123, and the emcee Richard Klose, past American Legion state commander.