PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii — A few dozen elderly men who survived the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor 74 years ago gathered Monday at the site to remember fellow servicemen who didn’t make it.

The U.S. Navy and National Park Service hosted a ceremony in remembrance of those killed on Dec. 7, 1941. About 3,000 people were expected to join the survivors.

Adm. Harry Harris, the top U.S. military commander in the Pacific, said the day “must forever remain burned into the American consciousness.”

“For 74 years, we’ve remembered Pearl Harbor. We’ve remained vigilant. And today’s armed forces are ready to answer the alarm bell,” said Harris, who leads the U.S. Pacific Command.

He said the military was also working to “keep the alarm bell from sounding in the first place” by refocusing its attention on Asia and the Pacific region with the aim of maintaining stability, prosperity and peace.

Ed Schuler, 94, said he keeps returning to Pearl Harbor to honor his old shipmates killed on the USS Arizona.

He said 125 sailors from his ship, a light cruiser called the USS Phoenix, had transferred to the Arizona the day before the attack. They were all killed, he said.

“I come back just to renew my acquaintance,” said Schuler, who lives in San Jose, California.

More than 2,400 sailors, Marines, and soldiers were killed at Pearl Harbor and other military installations on the island of Oahu.