December 7, 1941. The day that took and shaped lives, that changed Hawaii forever.
Pearl Harbor survivors, their numbers thinning, sat in front of the harbor they vividly remember seeing on fire and honored their shipmates who never made it out.
Donald Stratton was 19 and aboard the U.S.S. Arizona.
"We got hit by the bomb and the flames, I got burned over 75 percent of my body. We had to crawl across the line, hand over hand, after were burned over to the Vestal, about 70 feet or so. I don't have any fingerprints anymore, but it's been a long time ago," Donald said.
Nowadays, Donald shares those stories of survival with his grand daughter, Nicki. With a camera in hand, she captured every moment she can.
"He's one of the last five survivors of the U.S.S. Arizona. Coming here on a regular day is emotional, but being here on December 7 just really puts into perspective what he went through that day 76 years ago to survive and to get off the ship," Nicki said.
The ceremony serves as a lesson to make sure the stories of the greatest generation don't fade.
"I think it's very important to the veterans so that they can keep their story going," Keller Bailey of Warlock, Indiana said.
Delton Walling's story is as gripping now as it was 76 years ago. He was at the communication tower when the bombs hit.
"When the little black dots started coming out of the planes, I thought, ohh, well that's something different. When the bombs hit, the ramp at Ford Island and exploded, then we knew we were in war," Walling said.
He has left Pearl Harbor but it never left him.
He knows when his story ends, it will be here. The U.S.S. Utah will be his final resting place.
"To be with my comrades, to be where it all started," Walling said.