Colorado Springs bridge dedicated in honor of Pearl Harbor survivor

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A 95-year-old U.S. Navy veteran got a big honor Friday. The Fillmore Street bridge over Interstate 25 was dedicated in his name.

Veteran Donald Stratton is one of just five remaining survivors of the attack on the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor.

“I’m very grateful, but I’m grateful more for the 1,117 men we lost that day on the Arizona,” Stratton said.

Even after the Pearl Harbor attack, Stratton continued to serve.

“In 1943, he once again volunteered to serve his country,” Colorado House Rep. Larry Liston said. “He truly put service above self.”

Stratton accepted the bridge dedication in his honor with his wife Velma and son Randy by his side.

“That’s the only son we have left,” Stratton said. “We lost an older son, he was a Vietnam veteran, and we also lost two young daughters.”

Stratton was just 19 years old at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack. He credits another sailor for saving his life. 

While that sailor, Joe George, is no longer alive, his daughter accepted a memorial flag plaque on his behalf.

“Joe George never knew who he saved,” Randy Stratton said. “None of the six guys, he didn’t know their names, he didn’t know if they survived or anything. So now we wanted to make sure he was honored with the Bronze Star Medal with Valor.”

Donald Stratton, along with George’s daughter, worked for more than 15 years to get George the honor he deserved.

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