Thousands of people all around the region came together to remember the more than 2,000 Americans who died 75 years ago.

The National Museum of the U.S. Navy held a special memorial ceremony to honor the victims of the attacks on Pearl Harbor.

"I was there," said Chief Frank Ruby, 99, who traveled to Washington, D.C. from Dayton, Ohio for the event.

Ruby was a young sailor in the navy stationed at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 when Japan launched a surprise attack .

Ruby had one thing on his mind that day.

"Staying alive," he said.

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Ruby did survive the attacks though many others didn't.

"I lost a friend," said Ruby.

Chief Ruby honored his lost brothers in a ceremony on Wednesday.

At the National Museum of the U.S. Navy, a piece of the battleship USS Arizona and a plaque from the USS Tennessee was added to the "Valor in the Pacific" gallery. Ruby also laid a wreath in honor of the victims.

A second memorial service was held at the World War II Memorial Wednesday afternoon. Vice president-elect Mike Pence was in attendance, Senator John McCain was the keynote speaker, and WUSA9's Mike Hydeck served as Master of Ceremonies.

MORE: How D.C. changed after Pearl Harbor