ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- Eighty years ago, an attack on Pearl Harbor took the lives of over 2,400 U.S. service members. Today, Albany County Pearl Harbor Memorial Observance brought together patriots that span generations.

Young smiling faces shared a meal with some of Albany’s most cherished heroes. One local World War II veteran still remembers that fateful day. 

“I was in the kitchen, and the radio was playing. President Roosevelt came over, announcing Pearl Harbor,” William Scharoun said.

Scharoun added that the news shocked him and changed the lives of everyone around him.

“You think of the war, and all we lost, all the friends I lost,” Scharoun said. “After all we’ve got to remember those people.”

Albany County did what it could to not forget those who lost their lives on December 7, 1941. Government officials, veterans, and even high school students gathered at American Legion Post 1520.

“Well, today we honor those that were lost, and we honor any service members that are here today,” Ivan Huang, Christan Brothers Academy NJROTC Cadet, said.

County Executive Dan McCoy advised the students in the room and urged them to take the time to shake the hand of a veteran and cherish the memory of today’s event.

“The best place to hear about service is not to research it online; that’s easy,” McCoy said. “But to talk to a veteran to talk to a service member. To sit next to them and hear the stories of what they went through.”

Scharoun told News10’s Stephanie Rivas about his story, about his time spent in the Pacific on patrol as a sailor in the Navy. Scharoun added that the remembrance event’s turnout meant a lot to him.

“I like to see this,” Scharoun said. “I like to see people getting together, especially for something like this.”