Many pack USS Alabama for the 78th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor

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MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Hundreds gathered at USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park to remember those who lost their lives 78 years ago in Honolulu, Hawaii, in the attack on Pearl Harbor.

“People sacrificed their lives to save the ones in Hawaii and I think that’s important to know because they sacrificed their lives for other people and some people just don’t get that,” said Kelsey Sisk, with CASS Middle School’s JROTC in Cartersville, Ga.

It’s a service that should never go unnoticed for the servicemen who endured such devastation on the morning of December 7th, 1941.

A day Francis Emond witnessed as he was serving in the Navy at the time, preparing to raise the flags.

“Real nice morning. Just a little slight breeze. This was in Hawaii and you could smell the blossoms. It was a gorgeous day,” Emond said.

And then the unthinkable happened.

“I saw a line of planes come in on the left side and the first one peeled off, I thought the plane was coming apart. So I watched it come up and it hit an airplane hanger and exploded. A lot of smoke, a lot of fire, a lot of noise. We looked back up to the sky and that time it was full of planes,” Emond said.

21 ships were either damaged or sunk, 2400 military members were either killed or wounded, along with 1100 civilians in the population of Honolulu. 78 years later and that memory is one that will never fade away from America’s heart.

“On this day, we want to try and portray a reenactment of what might have happened that morning. At least give some surprise realism to the surprise attack that happened,” said David Underwood, Executive Officer of the Living History Crew, USS Alabama.

As people filled USS Alabama, many came with heavy hearts after such devastation at NAS Pensacola on Friday.

“Bad things happen all the time. If you look through history every once in a while we have a bad thing happen, but then we all get together, all Americans we strive and recover,” Emond said.

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