EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) -Cedric Hustace was 7-years-old on the day Pearl Harbor was attacked.
At seven, he said he remembers every detail vividly, so much so he made a painting about the day. “My mother came out on the porch and she told me, Cedi get back inside,” Hustace said.
Hustace talks about the things he saw that day. “Instead of exploding up in the sky, they came down and exploded and so that was what was hitting around us. So we were really being bombed by anti-aircraft shells.”
He decided to paint a picture both representing what he saw and what his childish imagination drew up. Hustace explains his painting saying, “Here’s me with my toy rifle and my toy helmet, running towards the house where my mother is standing here on the porch telling me to get inside.”
He said his two brothers were in the military at the time of the attack. “They were under fire but we didn’t know at the time, we didn’t know anything about whether Richard was alive, or if Richard was dead. Or Frank, we knew nothing about them until much later.”
Luckily his brothers survived the attack, but the same couldn’t be said for the 2,403 who died that fateful day in December of 1941.
Hustace remembers the speech by President Roosevelt that would send the United States into World War II. He especially remembered his father sending the family away from the war zone. Hustace said, “We were put on board a troop ship and left Hawaii for San Francisco. So then the rest of the war we spent on the continental United States.”
Despite the devastation that surrounded his home in Honolulu, Hustace said he will always remember it how it was on the day before December 7th, 1941. “That’s a place you’d never want to go back to, but in my mind, it was always luscious, beautiful,” said Hustace.