Old Bridge sailor reflects on being stationed in Pearl Harbor during 75th anniversary


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The 75th anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor has special meaning for an Old Bridge native who is serving in the U.S. Navy in the very location that drew the United States into World War II.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Ricardo Nazaire, a 2006 Old Bridge High School graduate, is assigned to the Navy’s U.S. Pacific Fleet Headquarters. He is responsible for pay and personnel issues.

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“Hands down, the best part of my job is interacting with sailors,” Nazaire said in a statement prepared by Dusty Good of the Navy Office of Community Outreach. “Being able to deal with their issues hands on and being able to make a difference is awesome.”

Pearl Harbor itself is home to more than 19,000 U.S. Navy sailors, 11 surface ships, 19 nuclear-powered submarines and 19 aircraft, according to the statement.

The Pacific is home to more than 50 percent of the world’s population, many of the world’s largest and smallest economies, several of the world’s largest militaries and many U.S. allies.

Accordingly, the Navy is basing approximately 60 percent of its ships and aircraft in the region. Officials say the Navy will also provide its most advanced warfighting platforms to the region, including missile defense-capable ships, submarines, reconnaissance aircraft and its newest surface warfare ships.

“It’s a surreal experience to be here for the 75th,” Nazaire said in the statement. “You see it in TV and movies and never in a million years did I think I would be here. It’s a humbling experience.”

“It’s important for those of us serving in Pearl Harbor today to remember the sacrifice of those who served before us,” Admiral Scott Swift, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, said of commemorating the attacks of Dec. 7, 1941. “The important work we do every day honors those who were here 75 years ago and is a testament to the enduring value of our Navy’s mission.”

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