Seventy one years ago Friday, the United States was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of Japan.
On the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Abilineans paid respect to the servicemen who fought bravely to keep our country safe.
"We have all seen pictures and heard tales about the most indescribable horror and destruction resulting from that surprise attack," said Bill Toornburg, a veteran who spoke at the event.
A flyover by the Air Force represented those lost on that fateful day.
"Remember Pearl Harbor, which we are here today to do," said Toornburg.
Veterans are encouraging a younger generation to never forget the sacrifices made all those years ago, in the attack that launched the U.S. into World War II.
Toornburg was five at the time.
"I remember it like it was yesterday, because it was such a traumatic thing that took place...you can't forget it," he said.
The day serves as a reminder to be grateful to all those who serve, past and present.
Linda Beebe visits her husband's grave site every day. He served in Vietnam, and passed away last year.
"I came out to visit my husband and to honor those lost at Pearl Harbor," she said.
She urges everyone to appreciate the dedication of our service members.
"If it wasn't for them, we wouldn't have all the freedoms we have now," said Beebe.
President Obama called for flags to fly at half staff today to observe the day of remembrance and to honor military service members and veterans.