Rootstown students hear from Pearl Harbor survivor

By Diane Smith | Staff Writer Published:

Students at Rootstown High School recently learned about history from a survivor of the Pearl Harbor attacks which propelled the United States into World War II.

Robert Bishop is a survivor of the Japanese assault on Pearl Harbor on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941. As a guest of the 10th grade honors U.S. History class, he spent a recent morning recounting for the audience his first-hand memories of the surprise attack on military forces in Hawaii. Bishop was aboard the USS Tennessee at the time of the attack, and continued to serve in the Pacific Theater for the rest of WW II.

Bishop described in detail the horrors he witnessed personally at Pearl Harbor and also later during the war. He told the class, "President Truman saved my life," and explained how the decision to drop the bomb spared him and others from having to invade Japan.

As part of their lesson, the 10th-grade honors students are studying and researching the events that led to President Harry Truman's decision to use the atomic bomb. They will debate and defend their personal opinions as to whether they believe the bombing was justified based on the knowledge they have gained.

Bishop shared with his audience the motto he and his fellow survivors adopted: "Remember Pearl Harbor, keep America alert!" He encouraged them to follow the same creed.

Bishop and his wife Doris, live in Austintown.

The 10th-grade honors U.S. History class is taught by Margaret Barzellato and student teacher Stephanie Parish.

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1139 or dsmith@recordpub.com

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