SLIDESHOW: America remembers Pearl Harbor
Jim Doyle, a survivor currently living in Colorado, told 9NEWS as much the day before we left the island of Oahu.
"My health is failing every day. I can feel it," he said. "But I wanted to make this last commitment, and I'm darn glad that I did."
The National Park Service estimates more than 120 survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor were able to make the trip this year.
It was impossible not to wonder just how many might be able to make it back.
To underscore that thought, during the week of the anniversary five survivors had their ashes placed in various parts of Pearl Harbor.
Lee Soucy survived the attack on the USS Utah and lived to the age of 90.
On Dec. 6, 2011, divers placed an urn filled with some of his ashes in the rusting hull of the Utah just off the northern shore of Ford Island.
"[My dad] was a true American," his daughter Margaret Soucy said shortly before the memorial service. "We really miss him."
"Tom Brokaw called [WWII veterans] the 'Greatest Generation.' They were true Americans, and we're losing them," she added.
For more information on the Greatest Generations Foundation, go to: www.tggf.us.
(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)