On Pearl Harbor Anniversary, WWII Veteran Says “Life is Magnificent”

Murkowski Spotlights 90 Year Old Army Veteran to Mark “Date Which Will Live in Infamy”

Anchorage resident Norman Hogg carries with him an Army-issued Bible received during his service time in World War II, bearing an inscription from then President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  He also carries a remarkable abundance of stories, observations and an authentic Alaskan brand of optimism. As the nation remembers the December 7th, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor that brought the United States into the Second World War – a “date which will live in infamy” in Roosevelt’s words – Senator Lisa Murkowski is releasing her 19th Veteran Spotlight interview, focusing on the military service of WWII veteran Norman Hogg.  Hogg was just 19 years old when he recalls hearing of the Pearl Harbor attack on the “wireless” radio.  He would join the U.S. Army just a few months later at age 20.

During his interview, Hogg recounts being assigned to the Signal Corps, where he would put his Eagle Scout training to good use teaching his fellow soldiers how to survive in life-threatening water combat operations.  Though he remained in the United States throughout his military carrier, Hogg recalls losing his childhood friends to the WWII battles overseas and the impact it had on the rest of his life.

(Click here for excerpt of Norman recalling hearing about the Pearl Harbor Attack over the radio. CLICK HERE for the extended interview)

“Americans were killed by a foreign country and I knew we were going to war,” said Norman Hogg.  “There was this comradeship between soldiers that I remember.  We became family.  Those 400,000 people who died, they sacrificed their lives, and I am very grateful to them, because otherwise there would have been tyranny.”

This past October, Hogg was one of 29 Alaskan World War II veterans who traveled Washington, D.C. to visit the WWII memorial as part of the inaugural Last Frontier Honor Flight.  Hogg brought his Bible with him as a link to the past that he says brought him and his service in the military full circle.

“As you get older, memories become more important,” said Hogg.  “I remember times from the war and my childhood and the early years in Alaska.  All these memories are mixed up in you, and they are you.  Life has been good to me.  Life is magnificent!”

“Norman Hogg’s story is one of an American hero,” said Senator Murkowski.  “He stepped up and served our country during one of the most trying times in our nation’s history.  His memories and his legacy should not be forgotten.  We owe it to veterans like Norman to honor them through sharing their stories, and we owe it to the rest of us to learn from the high levels of patriotism, commitment and service they demonstrate for us.” 

The “Veteran Spotlight” project is Senator Murkowski’s monthly focus on an Alaska veteran of American conflicts worldwide to honor and draw well-deserved attention to Alaska’s men and women who served.  Today’s installment is the nineteenth in the series that began on Memorial Day weekend of 2012.  Every month, Sen. Murkowski posts a biography and an interview with an Alaskan who served our country abroad in conjunction with the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project.  You can watch them all by clicking here.

Senator Murkowski invites all Alaskans to nominate a veteran from the 49th state to be featured in the Veteran Spotlight project.  If you have a family member or friend in the community you think has a story to share, email Spotlight@Murkowski.Senate.Gov.