World War II veterans gather to commemorate the 78th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Veterans and their families gathered at Lyons View Cemetery for a special ceremony to remember the attack on Pearl Harbor 78 years later.

Governor Bill Lee sent a declaration to the ceremony declaring December 7 will be Pearl Harbor remembrance day in the state of Tennessee.

One special guest in attendance was 98-year-old Durward Swanson. He is the oldest World War II veteran in East Tennessee. He was there during the Pearl Harbor attacks and recalls vivid memories of that day.

“There’s a lot of things that happened December the 7th. I saved my buddies life. I didn’t think I was going to make it when I was going to get my buddy. Stray bullets was flying all around me, bombs dropping and hangers tearing up things on fire and stuff.” Swanson said.

Swanson says he’s glad to be here for events like this. “This shows me that people don’t forget us,” Swanson said.

He says it’s no coincidence that he survived everything he has and is still here today.

“The reason I’m here today is the man up above wanting me here today.” Swanson said.

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