WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Saturday marked the 72nd anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, a date President Franklin D. Roosevelt said "will live in infamy."
Wilmington honored Pearl Harbor and its veterans with a ceremony at Battleship Park where survivors described what they heard and saw on that tragic day.
One man said he was at the signal tower that morning. He said at first, he thought the planes belonged to the United States and that it was a surprise practice run. Then, he saw the insignias on the planes.
"Big, red meatballs. They were Japanese Navy planes."
Leslie "Bud" Hollenbeck was 19 years old during Pearl Harbor, and relatively new to the U.S. Navy.
"Well, I happened to be on watch at the time, so I was one of the first ones that saw the planes come in," said Hollenbeck. "They were coming in over Fort Allen. And then the explosions and everything happened."
He says he still thinks the Japanese attacked because of an ego-trip.
The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor claimed over 1,000 lives.