Laying Veterans to Rest in the Watery Graves at Pearl Harbor

The chief historian at the USS Arizona Memorial on interring last remaining survivors.
3:00 | 01/07/14

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Transcript for Laying Veterans to Rest in the Watery Graves at Pearl Harbor
-- Hello welcome to politics confidential I'm Jonathan Karl -- coming -- -- now from Pearl Harbor here with a historian at the monument here. Daniel Martinez and I mean your professional life has been dedicated to keeping the memory of what happened here. On December 7 1940 water -- Membership. -- 300 people died here. We are approaching a time when there will be no more survivors of this past -- that are now knowing. Left nine of the USS Arizona survivors probably less than three to four Japanese pilots that flew in the -- -- line. So yes -- -- that generation is passing when you look at the USS Arizona the memorial. Over the remains of that ship which took the bronze. -- 1000. Killed within within minutes right of that attack that's right and the violence of that explosion. Which consume 1177. Officers sailors and Marines of which 900 are still serving that ship that is -- -- It's a tomb as -- historian here over the years you have had a chance. To -- and speak with and record your conversations with some of those that survive that it's right there it's amazing personal than anybody survive we've seen. -- specially from the Arizona and -- -- of these guys trapped in the alcohol while Walter staff I interviewed him he was the last man rescued out of the 32. That came out that day later. And he saw -- things that were unimaginable. In these personal stories they share with us -- oral historians. For the first time and when we get these oral histories back to the families and they watch them they said. He never told us that she never told us that. You've got a chance to know. Some of these survivors and and many of them have wanted to when they die. Be buried -- that and that watery grave crime with their shipments. What's that like community ceremonies were you. It put the ashes is that something like this. Jonathan that's the question that sometimes hearts. That family trusts us to take those actions of that family members. And with the full burial rights and military protocols. And place them back and ship. I. -- see a tremendous amount. Patriotism. And sacrifice on the part of that family. But that memory won't be here as long as America. You were just with 11 of the -- survivors are still alive -- -- family from Minnesota. But it was an incredible family that prop 53 members here for the interment the largest -- -- aware -- ever had and they invited the public. To also joined -- select people -- public came. And then we were able to get one of the seal teams to be the honor guard and it was just one of those moments when you. -- almost have to pinch yourself. Dead I got to lead that ceremony with with the navy and we took Edward home. Back with a shipments acquisitions. So tell me remember Pearl Harbor at -- was the rallying cry it was America World War II. Why does it matter now why do we need to remember Pearl -- now that we knew we need to remember Pearl Harbor not for the reason they did but rather for the sacrifice. They went through. In doing so we -- hundred of them. I think about -- young children that collected scrap. I think about. The mothers and parlors that sent their sons and daughters overseas. I think about things. Young man -- -- transferred and you know from boys to men. And those that didn't come home and that's how we remember Pearl Harbor you've dedicated so much of your life to keeping that memory alive and meeting. Those people who sought your own grandfather. There -- witnessed this -- he did in what was it like to interview him. It was difficult I -- -- -- congress in college and I was just taken my first oral history class and I thought well. My grandfather was for -- -- the interview. Any -- and left the interview table four times and he said hey that's it that's it and my grandfather was a very very channel follow. That I would I would I didn't realize stand what I found out later when I came here and started doing more interviews as I was taking his personal memory. And way to expose. When he saw the commuted the destruction that he saw here only in what he saw was. When the Arizona exploded and he -- himself -- -- through that he was roughly a quarter mile away could feel the concussion then later right here where we are today. He was on a boat with other navy federal workers pulling bodies out of the water and laying -- Monica pier here for identification. And in this oral history said that he couldn't get over how young the faces -- -- Schwartz said. These -- kids -- All right Taylor Martinez chief historian here at the World War II memorial for valor in the Pacific thank you think you -- -- appreciated and that's it for politics confidential for ABC news -- Yahoo! News thank you for watching. You can follow me all week long on Twitter at John -- on FaceBook. Season.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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