Several Pearl Harbor survivors who did not travel to Hawaii will meet this morning at a public breakfast in Santa Rosa to commemorate the 69th anniversary of the attack.
A buffet will open at 8 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial Building on Maple Avenue and will cost $8. A service will start about 9 a.m., with music, a speech and the tolling of a bell for all local Pearl Harbor vets who have died in recent years.The Petaluma Police Department just may receive a box of Hawaiian macadamias as thanks from Pearl Harbor vet Herb Louden.
The department's employees were outraged when in May 2009 three crooks stole about $2,000 in cash Louden had been saving for this week's Pearl Harbor Survivors Association convention and visitor center dedication.
The thieves knocked on Louden's door and staged a ruse, asking if he cared to sell his old motor home. Two men distracted Louden while a third sneaked about his house, grabbing money and other valuables.
Officer Nick Raccanello responded when Louden discovered the theft and called police.
"I just felt bad for him," Raccanello said. "He and Mrs. Louden are very sincere people, very sincere."
Other police employees shared Raccanello's concern that Louden, a World War II veteran and a chaplain, had lost the money he was saving for a return to Pearl Harbor.
The employees opened their wallets and purses, and a few weeks after the burglary invited the Loudens to visit the police station. There the employees presented them with a check for $2,195.
Raccanello learned recently that not only were the Loudens proceeding with plans to return to Pearl Harbor, but that United Airlines had upgraded them to First Class.
"It couldn't happen to a better couple," he said.