SLIDESHOW: America remembers Pearl Harbor
The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific was created in the Punchbowl crater and opened to the public on July 19, 1949. It was created as a final resting place for the thousands of World War II servicemen and women killed in Pacific Theatre.
Many of the grave markers serve as a reminder of the very beginning of World War II. The names, dates of birth and branches of service may vary. The date of their passing, Dec. 7, 1941 does not.
"A lot of my friends are gone, their lives cut short," Jim Doyle a survivor of Pearl Harbor, said.
Doyle, along with 22 other survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor visited the National Cemetery of the Pacific as part of their return on the 70th anniversary, made possible by the Greatest Generations Foundation. It was a chance for them to pay their respects and honor those who did not survive.
"I honor them more than anyone under the sun, another words, they sacrificed their lives," Charlie Boswell, a survivor from the USS Tennessee, said. "Everybody says we're the heroes. Well the heroes didn't make it."
For 90-year-old Emerie Arsenault, the trip to the cemetery was a chance to pay respects to a friend. On the day of the attack, Arsenault, who was part of the Battery E 64 Coastal Artillery at Fort Weaver, was one of the first see the Japanese planes approach.
"All of a sudden the radar screen lit up with blips and shortly after that a bunch of Zeros came in at tree-top level," Arsenault said. "They were machine gunning us."
Two hours later, when the second wave of the attack ended, Arsenault was still alive. His friend, Arthur Faveau, was not.
"He was the only guy that got killed in my outfit," Arsenault said.
So it was that on a warm, sunny afternoon 70 years later, Arsenault went searching for the grave marker of his friend. Once found, Arsenault stood quietly, offered a prayer and said what he needed to say: "God rest his soul."
For more information on the Greatest Generations Foundation, go to: www.tggf.us.
(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)