CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4)– December 7, 1941, known as the day that will live in infamy. The day Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in Hawaii bringing the United States into World War II.

Jim Burghardt (credit: CBS)

For Jim Burghardt, Dec. 7, 2018 will be remembered as the celebration of his 100th birthday at the Holly Creek Retirement Community in Centennial. He is also a World War II veteran.

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“Japan never should have bombed Pearl Harbor. They shouldn’t have awakened the sleeping giant. They should have stayed in the far eastern Pacific,” he said.

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But the conflict engulfed so much more. From the battlefields of Europe came German prisoners of war.

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Burkhardt’s job to keep watch of them, commanding a prisoner of war camp in England. His brother John was a prisoner of war in Germany.

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As the war went on, Burghardt remembers, “They kept telling us, ‘You’re going to be home for Christmas’ but they didn’t say what year.”

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He finally got to go home. The Chicago-born man became a Denver City and County employee.

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Now at 100 years old, he has some strong opinions and strong advice for anyone else with the ambition to turn 100.

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“In one word, moderation. Do everything, eat drink, not in excess, but in moderation.”

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