The 67th anniversary of the end of World War II was commemorated Sunday with a ceremony on board the Battleship Missouri Memorial, the same ship where the historic day in history was made.
Daniel Poling was 18 when he enlisted in the Navy, shortly after his cousin was killed on board the USS Arizona.
Just 100 yards away from where his cousin's remains are interred, Poling, now 89 years old, was emotional as he was honored with an American flag for his service.
"I did put time on board here, but a lot of people deserve it more than I do," said Poling.
Poling was a guest of honor at the ceremony on board the USS Missouri, now a museum. He was just one of a handful of World War II veterans still able to attend this event commemorating an important day in history.
September 2, 1945, a Japanese delegation led by Japan's foreign minister boarded the USS Missouri for the signing ceremony marking the official end of World War II.
Art Albert was a young sailor aboard the Mighty Mo and witnessed the surrender.
"The tin can pulled up along the side (of the ship) and as it backed down like a taxi cab, Gen. MacArthur steps off. I’ll never forget that," said Albert. "I never saw so many smiles in my life."
The surrender ceremony on the deck of the Mighty Mo took less than half an hour to complete, but brought one of the most world's most devastating wars to a close.
"I do believe it is the moment that the United States should always try to live up to," said James Zobel, senior archivist for the MacArthur Memorial in Norfolk, Va.
Zobel said this day in history represents what is good about our country: its fierce defense of America's principals and compassion for the defeated.
Radford High School junior Christian Wells was the winner in "MacArthur’s Words" essay contest and said the General’s words still have relevance today.
"It takes more than wishes and good intentions to bring about world peace. It will take every individual to achieve complete world peace," said Wells.