SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – A man believed to be the last Pearl Harbor survivor from Lackawanna County was laid to rest Saturday.
Walter Pasiak died last Sunday.
“I miss him terribly. I miss him so much right now,” said Diane Sica, Pasiak’s niece.
Dozens of people came out to say their last goodbyes to World War II hero, Walter Pasiak. The Scranton native was just 19-years-old when Pearl Harbor was attacked.
“it’s hard to believe what such a young person at that age went through. You know he was so young and all the awards all the medals, stars he got were certainly well deserved,” said Sica.
Eyewitness News spoke with Pasiak during a Pearl Harbor remembrance event in 2018. He said he was leaving the mess hall that December day in 1941 when he heard the Japanese planes overhead.
“I had breakfast and I was ready to go on duty, but the attack changed plans. I had to go to the display room and get a machine gun and go up on a hill and fire at an aircraft that came over,” said Pasiak.
On Saturday, Pasiak was buried at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Scranton. Charlie Spano met Pasiak when he was the gust of honor at a Pearl Harbor remembrance wreath ceremony.
“Walter was the last living link to a era that is rapidly closing. Some of generation saved the world from tyranny while passing from the scene and we really need to remember why they did what they did to preserve our freedom, maintain their legacy,” said Spano.
Sica says she is so proud of her uncle.
“If he ever saw all thing going on for him he would never believe it, but he deserves every bit of it. He’s truly a hero and he’s from the greatest generation,” said Sica.
Pasiak was 98-years-old. His death came two months after contracting COVID-19.