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Veterans pay tribute in Camden at Battleship New Jersey for lives lost in Pearl Harbor 82 years later

South Jersey vets pay tribute in Camden on 82nd anniversary of Pearl Harbor attacks
South Jersey vets pay tribute in Camden on 82nd anniversary of Pearl Harbor attacks 02:00

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) -- Thursday marks 82 years since the attack on Pearl Harbor. American flags across the country are flying at half-staff to honor those who lost their lives.

Aboard the Battleship New Jersey docked at the Camden Waterfront, veterans from across South Jersey gathered to pay tribute and remember what happened on this day more than eight decades ago.

"May their memories be for a blessing and may their souls be blessed for eternity," Rabbi Ephraim Epstein said. 

Five men from Camden and Gloucester counties were among the more than 2,400 servicemen and women who were killed in the Japanese surprise attack at the Pearl Harbor naval base in Hawaii.

It would officially begin the United States' involvement in World War II.

"It's a day of remembrance," Bernie Kofoet said. "It got us into that war that saved our democracy."

On Thursday, everyone on the battleship paused for a moment of silence. Then, Camden County Commissioner Melinda Kane, a Gold Star mother, helped drop a wreath into the Delaware River to honor the service and sacrifice of those who died protecting our nation.

"I understand that like my son, many of those killed at Pearl Harbor were young men who raised their hand to defend their nation and had barely entered adulthood," Kane said. 

"They are a branch on a family tree that will no longer grow and they will never grow old," Kane said. 

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