Pearl Harbor survivor Donald Stratton helps N.C. boy get piece of U.S.S. Arizona


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX46) — A Charlotte boy is getting results for America and his classroom.

Landon Knestrik, 7, loves history and our veterans. Now, his school has a reminder of the greatest generation.

Students packed the Charlotte Prepatory School gym for a special Veterans Day assembly. Landon took the stage with his parents to help unveil a piece of the U.S.S. Arizona which was gifted to the school.

“It’s signed by three veterans. Here’s Donald Stratton,” explained Landon as he took off his U.S.S. Arizona Pearl Harbor hat.

It’s something he cherishes. At 5, he became consumed with Pearl Harbor after watching a documentary. He knew he had to meet the survivor who was featured.

His name was Donald Stratton, and he was on board the ship when it was attacked. He now lives in Colorado Springs.

Landon sent Stratton a letter, and the two eventually met via FaceTime and in person.

Stratton lived history, and his friend Landon has a profound respect for it.

“I like it that it is here because when they walk by it they won’t forget Pearl Harbor and the greatest generation,” said Landon.

“I think it’s great because the kids learn about their history,” said Skip Hunt, a Vietnam veteran.

The Charlotte Prep students showed their respect to veterans being honored during the assembly. The morning served as a break from the textbooks for a real-life history lesson from real heroes.

“I’m glad to be honored by it. Years ago when we came out of Vietnam we weren’t honored and now we are and I appreciate it,” said Hunt.

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