CARSON CITY, NV - A quiet ceremony Wednesday at the USS Nevada Memorial in back of the Nevada's state capitol capped a morning of remembrance, reconnecting the men who lived through the attack on Pearl Harbor to the state and the nation for whom increasingly it is an historical footnote.
The ship's bell was rung twice. A bugler played taps. The governor and two Pearl Harbor survivors laid a wreath.
We are reminded from time to time what these men saw and did that day. For them it remains a memory relived with a mixture of pride and horror.
"It was chaos," says Robert Lloyd, who was that day a private in the Army Air Corps, a machinist stationed at Hickham Field. "A time of survival and a lot of prayer.
Roland Peachee was a ships cook on the USS Rigel, a supply and repair vessel which at the time had no guns. "All we could do was rescue the people in the water that we could and stack the dead on the pier."
Paul Dierlam, a Chief Petty officer from the USS Helena. The attack caught him ashore at Ford Island.
"Bombs came through the roof," he remembers. "Some didn't explode fortunately because one fell where I was."
All three men remember others who didn't survive.
"I was already 25," says Peachee. "There were a lot of young men who never got to live there lives. I've always asked 'Why me?'"
Today was the first time since this little visited memorial was dedicated that it played such a prominent role in the state's Pearl Harbor Day remembrances.
It was no accident. Governor Sandoval grew up, as a lot of Nevadans did back then, hearing the story of the USS Nevada's role, the only battleship to get underway that day, making a heroic run for the sea, fighting as she went, earning honors for her crew, unmatched even today.
It was noted today, that action set the tone for America's response to the attack.
It may also say something about it's enduring lesson.
"The cry was 'Remember Pearl Harbor,'" Lloyd notes. "It should still be today. The world is a dangerous place and we're always vulnerable."