Veterans across the country raise the flag in honor of Flag Day. We caught up with a few veterans in Tulsa Thursday and met a Pearl Harbor survivor who was reminded of that fateful day that sent our country into World War II. Ted Kuykendall says he was standing starboard on the USS Nevada the morning of December 7th, 1941. News On 6 anchor Jennifer Loren reports he was saluting a flag when all the men heard a noise that they thought to be army drills.
Soon after, the men on the ship realized they were being attacked by the Japanese. Following their commanderâ€™s orders, the USS Nevada managed to move toward open sea. Then, a second wave of Japanese planes appeared, concentrating their attacks on the moving battleships.
"We were tied up right behind the Arizona, and we started down the channel, and they tried to sink us," said Kuykendall.
Despite some damage, Kuykendall's battleship managed to beach itself at the entrance of Pearl Harbor.
"We settled on a beach. Everything under the main deck went under water, so we plugged some holes and pumped us out," Kuykendall said.
Miraculously, on the 22nd of April, Kuykendall and his crew got the battleship back in order and were able to return home. The ship was the only one to escape.
Kuykendall says every time he sees the colors go up, it brings back memories of friends who've lost their lives for our country.
â€œIt always, it gets me. A buddy of mine said grown men don't cry, but the older they get the more sentimental they are," Kuykendall said.
Kuykendall will turn 86 next month. He says a reunion will be held this September for the men of the USS Nevada, who he says continue to grow fewer and fewer in number.
Watch the video: Pearl Harbor Survivor Talks About His Experience