Agnes Shurr, Pearl Harbor Survivor

Leading up to the anniversary of Pearl Harbor several years ago, when my radio talk show was located in Fargo, North Dakota, I contacted the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs inquiring about Pearl Harbor survivors from the Peace Garden State. They were kind enough to give me a list of eight names but explained they were not allowed to give out the phone numbers. I thanked my contact and began tracking down these heroic veterans.

One by one, phones rang at seven homes but no one answered; nor did anyone have voicemail attached. Then, on the eighth call, a gentle, warm voice greeted me. It was Agnes Shurr. At that moment a jolt of electricity ran through my entire body. Here I was, actually speaking to a survivor of Pearl Harbor!

Agnes, who was from Grand Forks, spoke with me for about 40 minutes. Near the end of our conversation she graciously agreed to come on my program to share what she experienced on December 7th, 1941.

We talked again several times after the interview and there is no doubt she offered me so much more in those chats than I could ever have offered her. I came to consider Agnes a friend. Though we never met face-to-face, she treated me as though we’d known each other for years.

I learned several years ago Agnes had passed. While I was saddened to receive the news, I was comforted knowing she lived a rich, full life and was loved by many.

On this Memorial Day, 2017, I wanted to share that interview to honor my friend Agnes… and to honor all those who made the greatest sacrifice serving our nation.

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Filed Under: CGPChristopher GabrielMemorial DayNorth DakotaPearl HarborWorld War II

About the Author: Christopher serves up sports on 940 ESPN in Fresno with a good deal of pop culture, films, music and the quirky side of life mixed in. Distinguished guests and contributors from across the nation and around the world regularly join the program. He tackles the most complex stories to ones slightly off the radar delivering depth and humor with a thoughtful perspective. When he was in Fargo, the city not the movie, the program was nominated for Best Radio Show in the region in 2012, 2013 and 2014 by readers of The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. As a writer, Christopher's work has been been published by the Chicago Sun-Times, Sun-Times Network publications, Reuters, USA Volleyball and Team USA, the Official Website of the U.S. Olympic Committee.

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