GALVESTON, Texas (FOX 26) - James Avant is a veteran marine.
He plays “Taps”, a song family and friends of fallen military veterans are memorialized with at funerals.
He plays with a heavy heart, thinking of the men and women that died in the Pearl Harbor attack, 75 years ago.
On Wednesday he visited Galveston to pay his respects to the veterans that are no longer here, including his late friend that served on the USS Cavalla, an American submarine, now retired.
“To me that vessel is a hero and every man that served on it is a hero,” said Avant.
Just one day after Pearl Harbor was attacked, the drums for war were in full rhythm. In 1944, Cavalla lay waiting in the San Bernadino Straight, waiting to strike Shokaku, a Japanese aircraft carrier.
There are still torpedo’s in the belly of the submarine. The weapon lodged several rounds into the aircraft carrier, causing it to sink just four hours later. The living conditions on the submarine were tight.
While commissioned, 70 men slept in the vessel’s quarters, with little to no privacy.
“It was not easy, but you’ll talk to any veteran and they’ll tell you it was worthwhile,” said Avant.
A word from one who’s served to those still serving the military and country today.
“For people my age, it literally changed our lives,” said Richard Hoffman, a retired Navy Veteran.
Hoffman was almost finished with college when Pearl Harbor was attacked. He says he felt a duty to serve his country.
“It taught me responsibility, it taught me patriotism, there’s a lack of patriotism today. It taught me authority properly used, discipline, purpose, it gives life a purpose,” Hoffman said.
While the crowds of those that show up to pay their respect to Pearl Harbor victims continue to this out as the years wear on, the service of our military veterans and their sacrifices through service will never fade.