On Thursday morning there was a special honor for a survivor of the attack, 75 years ago, on Pearl Harbor, at San Francisco International Airport.
For the people and families involved it was a celebratory and bittersweet send off.
There were cheers and applause for WWII veteran and Pearl Harbor survivor Lou Conter.
Conter and his family were on their way to Honolulu to attend a ceremony next week for the anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Conter is 95 years old. He was a Quarter Master on the USS Arizona, and vividly remembers the morning of the bombing - December 7, 1941.
He says it was only through sheer luck he survived. 1,177 others on board the USS Arizona did not.
Also on board the flight were the ashes of another USS Arizona Pearl Harbor survivor, Clarendon Hetrick, who passed away earlier this year.
Bob Hetrick was carrying his father, Clarendon's ashes, so they could be buried in at the USS Arizona Memorial.
He says his father had been looking forward to attending this year's ceremony, but passed away in April.
"Conter told me when his time comes he would also like his ashes to be interred on the sunken ship he lived and worked on more than seven decades ago," said Hetrick.
Conter is one of just five USS Arizona survivors still alive today - a living reminder of a dark, but important chapter in U.S. history.