|Published:||Nov 12, 2010 12:42 AM EST|
|Updated:||Nov 11, 2010 8:48 PM EST|
LEE COUNTY, Fla. - This Veterans Day we're hearing from a Fort Myers woman, who lived through one of the most infamous days in American history.
Monica Benning was one of the few nurses stationed on Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked in 1941.
"It was a terrible morning," Benning told WINK News.
The morning of the attack Benning was working as an army nurse at Hickman Field at Pearl Harbor.
It was quiet, when she heard a bunch of planes.
"We could hear the bombs getting closer and closer. I look up and the building is shaking. I'm praying and i just know we are going to be crushed to death but we weren't," she said.
Monica adds it was the most terrifying moments in her life.
During the attack, she was one of a few nurses on duty.
When injured men were being brought to the hospital she couldn't believe it.
"I had never seen anybody, even in an automobile accident, the condition these people were in," she said.
In the chaos, Monica was unable to find her love, Barney Benning, an Army Lieutenant stationed at Pearl Harbor.
She couldn't find him for days.
Then suddenly he appeared.
"The elevator door opened. Their was Barney and he came toward me and he said, "Monica and I said Barney" and that was an embrace that lasted 68 years," she said.
In her book, she mentions their love story was one of the inspirations for the 2001 film "Pearl Harbor".
But that's not Monica's only claim to fame.
She became the US poster girl encouraging women to be an army nurse.
Today she is the only living nurse alive that was at Pearl Harbor the day of the attack.
"When I tell that story I relive it," she said.
Monica remembers the injured.
She remembers after the dust settled, the flag still stood.
Especially Veterans Day, she remembers the stars and stripes still wave, it's a time she'll never forget.
"It's still in their hearts and you can not live today without recalling," she said.
On November 14th, Monica will turn 96.