U.S. Navy Commander John Killila remembers his time on the Fairview Marching Band. The 1995 alumnus, who is stationed in Pearl Harbor, played in middle and high school on the drum line.
"It's a small school, and when I was there we didn't get to do any of these big trips, we stayed in Western Pennsylvania for the most part," explained Killila.
Killila learned of Fairview coming to Hawaii from an other alumni.
Fairview's marching band will be one of eight marching bands in the country performing in the 75th Annual Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade. One band from each state represents a battleship that was in the harbor during the attack.
"It just says something about our country. The links between having my school in Western Pennsylvania get to come and experience this part of the country, which is a totally different part of the country, but still part of our great nation, and celebrate our history together," said Killila.
For those stationed at Pearl Harbor, like Killila, Pearl Harbor Day holds a special meaning.
Killila said the first thing he did when he moved there, was go across the harbor to visit the Arizona Memorial, one of the most heavily damaged ships.
The U.S.S Pennsylvania received minor damage and went on to fight in famous battles in the Philippines,Okinawa, and the North Pacific Campaign.
"It's kind of hallowed ground for us, especially in the Navy, it is a very special time," he said.
It'll be a special time for the commander, to see his home town perform in his new home.
"It's always home. Whether I've lived in Hawaii, Georgia, Japan, we love going back there," said Killila of Erie County.
This will be Killila's first time seeing the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade. Killila plans on meeting up with the band on their trip, and watching the parade with his family.
For more information on the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade: https://www.pearlharborparade.org/
For more information on the U.S.S Pennsylvania: http://usspennsylvania.org/WarHistory.htm