Colorado Springs honors USS Arizona survivor with exhibit

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The Don Stratton USS Arizona Exhibit showcases the courageous and heroic story of Stratton and the USS Arizona crew.

“They won’t let us forget. And we shouldn’t,” Stratton said.

The 96-year-old is one of five remaining survivors from the battleship USS Arizona, attacked and sunk by the Japanese December 7, 1941, at Pearl Harbor. Stratton, who was 19 during the attack, sustained burns over 65 percent of his body. He survived the attack after he managed to pull himself aboard another ship.

Stratton was one of only 335 from Arizona’s crew of 1,512 who survived the attack.

“It shouldn’t happen again,” said Stratton.

Joe Ann George Taylor’s father, Joe George, provided the lifeline that helped save Stratton and six others.

“Really overwhelming and shocking to find that out,” George Taylor said. “I am so proud of him and wish I could have shared stories with him.”

The exhibit will be displayed inside the Colorado Springs Airport for the next two years. It includes videos, pictures, narrative and even a relic of the USS Arizona.

“Today we celebrate, in the Olympic City, a hero,” Sen. Cory Gardner said. “There is no greater gold among us than those who have served our country.”

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