Remembering Pearl Harbor 75 years later

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PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (NBC News) – Wednesday marks the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Hundreds of survivors have made the trip to Hawaii, joined by thousands who will take part in a week of celebrations and memorials.

Their pace has slowed a bit. The wheelchairs and walkers, the difficulties that come with age, might at first glance seem to be a sign of weakness, but it was the strength of these heroes that carried our nation through one of its most difficult times.

“We looked in the sky we see all these aircraft’s circling with the rising sun insignia it it was just disbelief,” recalls Pearl Harbor veteran Jack Holder. “Fear, anger…disbelief.”

Nineteen ships were sunk or run aground during the suprise attack on Pearl Harbor, but the most significant toll was the 2,403 Americans who lost their lives, a loss that draws their shipmates back here 75 years later.

“The whole idea is we’re here to keep a remembrance of that day so that it doesn’t happen again,” says Stuart Hedley.