WWII veteran discusses what the United States means to him

Machias WWII vet reflects on Pearl Harbor

MACHIAS, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Robert Coles is appreciative of all the people who made donations to make this trip possible. He's wanted to go back to Pearl Harbor to connect with his past and to have some closure.

And as we spoke Thursday, he told me that it's important for him to remind people of what this country was back then, and what he hopes it could be again.

"Do not forsake your God, your country or your family."

That's the code Robert Coles lives his life by. He has a deep love of America, and is nostalgic about the deep sense of pride and respect, he says, people had for this country and one another during World War II.  

"We were divided by isolationists and interventionists — that's all that divided us," he said. "We all got along friendly, we didn't call them this or racist, or this or that, or the other thing. That's the only thing that divided us and then, when the war came in, schwoop, it erased that division. We became the United States of America — one country, one goal."

He feels like we've lost that sense of unity, and he hopes that, just maybe, this 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor will remind people of what the country was, and could be.

"This is what I fought for because I wanted to see the society of the United States of America — as good as it is, it is not perfect because it's run by humans, but it is the best society the world has ever known."

Copyright 2016 WLBZ


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