On December 7th, 1941 the Imperial Japanese Navy launched a surprise bombing on the US naval base in Hawaii.

When the smoke cleared, eight US Navy battleships were damaged with four of them sinking.

More than 2,400 Americans were killed and almost 1,200 wounded.

The attack known as the battle of Pearl Harbor would lead to the US entry into World War Two.

RELATED | Remembering the Pearl Harbor attack 77 years later

Friday, 77 years after that infamous day, local veterans were honored during an Honor Flight luncheon in Highlands Ranch.

Among them was Harold A. Nelson, who served in the European Theater from 1941 to 1946.

He is 103 years old and remembers his stories about the war as if they happened just yesterday.

"There was intense machine gun fire and I lost a lot of my men, but it wasn't my time,” he said.

He shared the story of how he hiked for three days and three nights with no water.

“I found some water in a cow's footprint,” Nelson remembered.

Nelson served in World War II because of Pearl Harbor.

Also at the luncheon was Col. Michael Edward Lowe who was mentored by someone directly connected to the attack.

Alan Shapley was a commanding officer on the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor. He survived the attack and Lowe says he helped save as many people as he could.

“When the Arizona was sunk he saved lives by swimming from the ship to Ford Island and for that he was awarded the Silver Star, one of the top medals in the military,” Lowe said.

Lowe went to the Naval Academy at Annapolis and while he was there, had the option to stay with the Navy or join the Marines. The Admiral influenced him to go into the Marine Corps.

Lowe honors and remembers his mentor to this day and asks that we all do the same with all servicemen and women.