Local News


Las Vegas woman at Pearl Harbor remembers the attacks on 75th anniversary

Posted at 6:30 PM, Dec 07, 2016

There's a living link in Las Vegas to the infamous Pearl Harbor attacks 75 years ago Wednesday.

Wanda Abarta, 92, was there and remembers every detail, including the stomach-churning days when she didn't know if her father survived the attack.

Abarta says the ordeal feels like it was yesterday.

"It was frightening because we didn't know really what was going on," she said. "We turned the radio on and they were telling everybody, 'Stay in your house, don't go out.'"

Abarta's father was working a construction job that Sunday just outside Pearl Harbor, about 25 miles from her family home.

"It was three days of not knowing what was going on really until my dad came in, and he looked so worn out and he said, 'You wouldn't believe Pearl Harbor. It's such a mess and so sad,'" she said.

The other important man in Abarta's life was her boyfriend Richard "Dick" Weaver. He didn't survive.

"It was an absolute shock," Abarta said.

Each passing anniversary doesn't get easier for her. Abarta says the tears still come even after all these years.

"It's just so vivid," Abarta said. "I can see it."

Many years later, Abarta had her only child and named him Richard as a tribute to her high school sweetheart.

She still keeps in touch with Weaver's family.