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Survivors remember Pearl Harbor 69 years later

READ MORE: Survivors remember Pearl Harbor 69 years later

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A bitter cold Pearl Harbor Day could not keep area veterans from remembering the event at North Carolina's World War II Memorial. They remembered the event that brought America into World War II. They remembered those who fell and honored those still with us.

For many it is a day of honoring an event from long ago. For some it is reliving something they will never forget.

"It means quite a bit," Pearl Harbor survivor Harold Garrish said. "It's amazing to me that people even remember us."

People remember. They remember and they came together Tuesday at Battleship Park to pay their respects.

Garrish and five other Pearl Harbor survivors were rock stars: signing autographs, shaking hands and telling their stories.

"I went down, and I looked at the Oklahoma turned over. Capsized," Garrish said. "And the West Virginia. She was sunk, too, and I thought this is the end."

It was, in fact, the beginning. The Japanese attack led the US into World War II. Sixty-nine years later and thousands of miles away, a crowd gathered along the Cape Fear River to hear the speeches and watch the ceremony, but it was really about a small group of men through whom we can not forget.

The attack on Pearl Harbor left more than 2,400 people dead and damaged or destroyed eight battleships.

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