American Air Power Museum commemorates Pearl Harbor attack

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FARMINGDALE -

The American Air Power Museum on Thursday commemorated the 76th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor by carrying on its annual "dropping of the roses" tradition.

The tradition started in 1970 by Joseph Hydrusko, a Navy medic at Pearl Harbor during the attack. Hydrusko would fly his own aircraft and drop one American Beauty rose into New York Harbor for every anniversary year.

In 1983, Hydrusko died in a tragic mishap in his aircraft, but friends said it was too important to give up the tradition. 

The Pearl Harbor Day ceremony also honored Seymour Blutt, a survivor of the attack. 

"It was terrible. I was one of the first ones to know that something was going on," said the 99-year-old veteran. "I yelled 'take cover.'"

Blutt says he hopes he is remembered for his dedication through the years, reminding others that freedom is not free. 

After the honors, 76 roses – one for each year that has passed – were blessed along with one white rose in memory of the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks. They were then dropped near the Statue of Liberty at the same time that the Pearl Harbor attack happened. 

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