On Thursday, crew members from the USS Stark gathered at Naval Station Mayport on the 31st anniversary of the attack on the guided missile frigate.
Thirty-seven Jacksonville based sailors were killed when two Iraqi missiles hit the ship on May 17,1987.
Survivors told Action News Jax the memories are too horrific to relive.
Navy leaders explained the quick work of those aboard kept the badly damaged ship afloat.
“In the end, you’re actually fighting for one another,” shipmate Bernard Martin said.
The annual memorial preserves the crew members’ loss and lesson for a new generation of sailors.
“They know it’s not a game. This is real life, this could happen to any of us any day,” Ashley Barnhart with the U.S. Navy said.
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