On Memorial Day we honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. One local man who fought in World War II shared his story with Fox35.
John Alianell, or Jack as he likes to be called, has lived a long life and he says he's lucky to be alive. "The south Pacific was full of Japanese ships before the war started," Alianell said. "We should've known what was going on and we didn't."
Alianell was 18-years-old when he enlisted in the United States Navy. It was right before World War II started and Jack was on leave in Mexico City.
"On December 7th, 1941 five of us were in Mexico City," Alianell explained. "A Mexican policeman came to us and said are you American servicemen? We said 'yes.' He says the Japanese have declared war on you, you better get back to the States."
Jack says it was a scary moment in time because he said they didn't expect it, but he says they were prepared to fight back.
Alianell served in the Navy for about 6 years and then went in the reserves until 1964. As a civilian Alianell worked as a highway engineer for many years.
Alianell has 5 children, 17 grandchildren, 39 great grandchildren, 4 great, great grandchildren and he says it is important to remember those who have fallen on Memorial Day. "Remember our people, what they did for us to save this country."