KEYPORT, Wash. (NNS) -- More than 250 people attended the 18th annual Pearl Harbor Remembrance Ceremony at the Naval Undersea Museum Jack Murdock Auditorium in Keyport, Wash. Dec. 7.
Twelve Pearl Harbor survivors attended with their family members along with widows of deceased survivors and members of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2995.
The master of ceremonies for the event was Capt. Stephen Iwanowicz, commander, Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC), Keyport. During his remarks, he spoke of the importance of not only honoring those who survived, but the more than 2,000 people who lost their lives Dec. 7, 1941.
"I've heard some of the survivors use the term 'reunion' to describe today's event," said Silvia Klatman, a ceremony attendee. "So, this is a chance for them to be able to come together to share their experiences and bond."
Klatman also expressed the importance of the survivors' presence and the impact they've had on the nation's history.
"When you look out into the audience and see all of the families, you start to think about how many of them wouldn't be here if it weren't for those men who fought for our country," said Klatman.
During the ceremony, the survivors of Pearl Harbor shared testimonials of their experience on the day of the attack.
"It warms my heart to see the support here today," said Robert Rains, a 20 year veteran and Pearl Harbor survivor. "It's wonderful that the Keyport command takes time to honor the fallen."
Two Sailors had the opportunity to sit with Pearl Harbor survivor, William Powell as he spoke about his experience of losing so many of his shipmates and his way of honoring them by attending in their absence.
"It's really very interesting to be able to hear about our nation's history from the perspective of an actual survivor," said Navy Musician 3rd Class Chris McGann, a member of Navy Band Northwest (NBNW) who performed during the ceremony.
"We play hundreds of ceremonies every year, but ceremonies like these are the rare few that have a bit of extra special meaning," said Navy Musician 3rd Class Gregory Lopes, NBNW.
After the ceremony, the survivors gathered for photos and received thanks from members in attendance.
"It gives me confidence knowing that we are not forgotten," said Pearl Harbor survivor, Urban "Bill" Mills.
Ceremonies were also held at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island and Naval Station Everett.
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