A force in creation of Pearl Harbor park, Mission’s Dorwin Lamkin now lone local survivor of attacks that shook a nation 75 years ago

Dorwin Lamkin shared a laugh ahead of Wednesday's Pearl Harbor ceremony.
Dorwin Lamkin shared a laugh ahead of Wednesday’s Pearl Harbor ceremony.

When the city of Mission dedicated its Pearl Harbor Park at Martway and Maple back in 2004, several of the 55 Johnson County veterans of the attack whose names are engraved on the park’s benches were still alive.

But as the city commemorated the 75th Anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attacks with a ceremony at Sylvester Powell Jr. Community Center Wednesday, only one Johnson County veteran of the event was there to attend. A driving force behind the creation of the park, Mission resident Dorwin Lamkin, now 94, is the only surviving member of the group honored on the park’s benches.

Dorwin Lamkin was assigned to the USS Nevada the day of the Pearl Harbor attacks in 1941. He has described the overwhelming sense of fear that consumed him as the Japanese aerial attack on the Navy fleet unfolded.

On Wednesday, Mission Mayor Steve Schowengerdt paid special tribute to Lamkin, who rose from his wheelchair to tip his cap as the gymnasium filled with current and former service members along with area residents gave him a standing ovation:

Yesterday’s ceremony had been schedule to take place at the park, but was moved indoors on account of the inclement weather.

Members of Shawnee Mission North's NJROTC presented the colors ahead of the ceremony.
Members of Shawnee Mission North’s NJROTC presented the colors ahead of the ceremony.