Pearl Harbor survivors and WWII veterans arrive in Honolulu

Pearl Harbor survivors and WWII veterans arrive in Honolulu
Published: Dec. 3, 2016 at 9:56 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 4, 2016 at 9:39 PM HST
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(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It was an emotional homecoming for dozens of Pearl Harbor survivors and WWII veterans at Honolulu International Airport Saturday afternoon.

Live bands, hula dancers and other military servicemen and women gathered around Gate 18 to help welcome our nation's bravest.

"I just want thank them for their time and what they've done to sacrifice for this nation," said Joshua Carmack, USN Chief Petty Officer.

Each hero was escorted from the plane down an isle of hugs, handshakes and aloha.

American Airlines sponsored the round-trip 75th Pearl Harbor Commemoration Flight, from Los Angeles to Honolulu, which hosted approximately 120 Pearl Harbor survivors, WWII veterans and their companions.

"I feel great," said WWII Veteran Art Staymates. "I think this is a great honor and I'm proud to be here."

"I'm very overwhelmed and very excited to be here and I just cant believe it," said Arthur Ken Allred, another WWII Veteran.

Pearl Harbor survivor, 94-year-old AJ Dunn, said it felt surreal to be back in Hawaii.

Dunn was just 19 years old when Japan launched a series of attacks on the unsuspecting Pacific Fleet.

"I'm feeling good, good to be back over here," he said.

Actor and humanitarian Gary Sinise also made the trip.

"These are our freedom providers," he said. "We can't take that for granted and what they did here during WWII all those many years ago. We continue to benefit from that."

Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band will be performing live on Dec. 5th for a free "Honor. Gratitude. Rock & Roll" concert prior to that evening's "Movie on the Beach."

For more information about the 75th Commemoration, its full schedule and other details, click here.

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