The casualty toll was more than 2,000 American soldiers and sailors who were killed and another 1,000 were wounded. The day after the assault, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on Japan; Congress approved his declaration with just one dissenting vote.
Melvin "Bud" Kennedy survived Pearl Harbor, and now he lives at Primrose Retirement Community in Grand Island.
"I suspect the Americans of today would do the same thing", said Hilliard, a Marine veteran and one of several dignitaries and officials who presented wreaths for the fallen at a memorial over the sunken hull of USS Arizona.
Military veterans and their families in Greenville recognized the 75th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attacks at a ceremony Tuesday, and one Pearl Harbor survivor's family members were in attendance.
Wednesday marks the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
"We had 587 days of actual combat", Knowles said.
The attack came as a shock to the Americans and directly led to United States entry into World War II. It was originally donated by a local World War II veteran in 1975.
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"I just hope that they understand what it's all about".
Almost 25,000 Marines and more than 400,000 military men and women from all branches were killed in World War II.
"We haven't got too many guys left, so I'm lucky be here", Gordon Jones said. He was eight years old when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. They fought the first battle and set the first example in a long campaign of America's enlightened leadership of the free world.
Downing said surprise, fear, anger and pride overcame him as Japanese planes bombed Pearl Harbor. He never counted on the attack, which cost 2,400 Americans their lives.
"At 3:45 a.m. on December 7, I look out and spotted a submarine that wasn't supposed to be in that area", the 104-year-old Chavez said. "I lost a lot of friends", he recalled.
"It was another nice handsome sunny day, like all of them", he says.