BOSTON (NNS) -- Sailors from the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) attended a Pearl Harbor memorial ceremony held at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston, led by the Pearl Harbor Survivors and Friends Freedom Trail Chapter Dec. 7.
Since that terrible morning 67 years ago, the survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor have been called heroes, the greatest generation and the first American witnesses to an event that caused America to enter World War II.
Retired Radioman 1st Class Don Tabbut, the only survivor in attendance, shared his experience and the ordeals of that dreadful day at the Navy yard visitor center before going to the fantail of a World War II destroyer Cassin Young.
"We know a lot of Americans have become complacent feeling that with huge oceans at our sides we shouldn't worry about what was happening in foreign lands. They thought that others could not hurt us, but the attacks on Pearl Harbor showed otherwise," Tabbut said. "This is why we survivors have been trying so long to get people to realize the possible problems we could face and to keep our military forces strong."
After Tabbut's speech, crowd goers made their way to the destroyer where Freedom's Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Don Gaberielson, took part in the ritual of throwing a wreath into Boston Harbor in remembrance of those who lost their lives Dec. 7, 1941.
Freedom's Command Senior Chief (SW) Thomas Dunning said it was important to be part of the ceremony.
"I salute those who were there during Pearl Harbor, and in return we should be there for them just has they are here for us today," Dunning said.
Chief Engineman (SW) Corbin Stalcup, who was also in attendance, commented about the service as being something American citizens should always bear in mind and never overlook because it was major turning point in the nation's history.
"It was one of our darkest hours, but what came at the end of the war and how we turned around Pearl Harbor to signing a peace treaty on the Missouri is something we should remember and never forget," Stalcup said.
Once the observance was over, Tabbut said he is determined in making the Pearl Harbor remembrance a pilgrimage for as long as he can. He is currently 84.
"Remember Pearl Harbor," Tabbut said. "For me to be here again to do this ceremony, it makes me feel good inside."
For more news from Freedom, visit www.navy.mil/local/surflant.