By: Mari-Ela David
PEARL HARBOR (KHNL) -- Friday marks 66 years since thousands of soldiers lost their lives in the attack on Pearl Harbor.
In honor of the anniversary, a memorial similar to Arlington Cemetary now stands at Richardson Field.
It's called the Healing Field, and it's the first time the memorial has been set up in Hawaii.
As Vietnam veteran Elmore Hill ties a purple ribbon around one of the flags at the Healing Field, he's reminded of his loss.
"I kind of miss them. I lost a lot of friends but I'm here to stand on their behalf," Hill said.
Hill is with the American Legion Post 17, the group hosting the Healing Field. It's a memorial where 2,408 American flags stand. That's how many soldiers died at Pearl Harbor 66 years ago.
"It's beautiful but until you actually walk in it, it is an 8 foot tall, 3x5 foot flag. They are really relatively man tall. It kind of really brings it home that each one is a person," said Lori Oakason, the Executive National Director of the Healing Field.
The purple ribbons tied around each flagpole bear a soldiers name - a personal tribute to the sacrifice they made.
"We're losing 1,025 World War II veterans a day. we're under 3 million now and many of them can't travel anymore. And I think it's important in this closing time in that era where we're losing these important wonderful heros that they know we will never forget," said Oakason.
The Healing Field not only honors soldiers who have passed but also those who have survived, all in hopes of providing a little comfort especially in these times of war.
158 Hawaii flags also stand at the Healing Field in memory of Hawaii soldiers who have died in the war on terrorism.
The Healing Field will be at Pearl Harbor until Monday.