A ceremony at Newark Liberty Airport on Thursday honored a WWII veteran from New Jersey who survived the attack on Pearl Harbor and died last year.
A host of parties took part in the Newark ceremony for Master Chief Petty Officer Raymond Haerry as his remains were being transported to the Dallas area.
Haerry, a New Jersey native, was aboard the USS Arizona when it was bombed during the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. More than 1,000 crewmen on board the ship died. Before his death in September, Haerry recalled the horror he felt swimming past the burning remains of his shipmates as he escaped the destroyed ship.
Staff from Newark Liberty, including from American Airlines, the TSA and the Port Authority took part. Among them were the Port Authority police bag piper, honor guards and Port Authority Police Chaplain Rabbi Mendy Carlebach.
Before American Airlines flight #2321 departed just after dawn, the airport’s aircraft rescue and firefighting unit honored Haerry with a water canon salute. Water poured over the plane as it taxied out to the runway, the morning sun lighting up the sky.