CHAMPION, Ohio (WKBN) – Today we remember the 80th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. This evening, Kent State University’s Trumbull Campus, in conjunction with the Warren Tribune Chronicle, hosted a remembrance ceremony.

We spoke with organizers and one World War II veteran who explained the importance of keeping the history alive.

At 94 years old, George Coler is a World War II U.S. Navy veteran. He enlisted at the age of 16 and was at the program on Tuesday to pay support to his fellow veterans and fallen heroes.

“I’m not sorry I did it, I’ll put it that way, because there was so many other people that were much more heroes than I was,” Coler said.

Chuck Sayers, commander of the Howland American Legion Post 700, said it’s crucial that we remember those who were lost in the surprise attack at Pearl Harbor eight decades ago.

“It’s important to remember the sacrifice that was made. We were blindsided by Pearl Harbor and there was roughly 2,300 soldiers, sailors, men and women who lost their lives,” Sayers said.

The program served as a way to share and preserve stories, including that of a Warren resident killed at Normandy.

A performance showcased the reaction of William Maccioco’s family when they heard the news that he was killed.

The Howland American Legion Post 700 has helped sponsor the “Pearl Harbor and Beyond” program since it was first created five years ago by David Luther, chaplain of the post. He said the goal is not just to recognize veterans from Pearl Harbor, but those beyond it.

“With today’s generation, I want them to connect with 1941 to 1945,” Luther said.

Luther hopes people remember the honor, courage and sacrifice of the generation of World War II.