Seven men who lost their lives fighting in World War II were honored Saturday and five of them were from Marion County.

The USS Indianapolis was heading to Okinawa when the ship was attacked killing hundreds of sailors and marines.

Every July, there's a national USS Indianapolis reunion for the families of those lost at sea.

Organizers of Saturday's event say there were nearly as many families represented as there would be on a national level.

Elvin Malone’s family traveled from Tupelo, Mississippi to celebrate Veterans Day with other families who might still be suffering.

Every one of us seem to have a hole in our heart,” said Keith Phillips, the grandson of Elvin Malone. “So it's like you find a piece of yourself through these people.”

Keith Philips saw a Facebook post about the USS Indianapolis honor ceremony and invited about 20 of his family members to participate in the festivities.

“They made several of the men who were on the ship they made their families the grand marshals of this parade today so we definitely enjoyed that,” said Keith Phillips.

Over the years, there have been several attempts to locate the resting place of the USS Indianapolis.

On August 19th, it was found 18,000 feet under water.

“It definitely pulls on the heart,” said Keith Phillips. “So my mother is here and she's never had any piece of this and it's really been a great experience for us.”

Phillips' grandmother was left to parent a one year old alone.  Once she remarried, her new husband was also in the Navy.

When Philips grew up, he knew he wanted to also serve in the Navy.

“I guess my grandmother had a thing for the Navy man because she always kind a favorite me a little bit,” said Keith Phillips. “I like to think she did a little bit anyway.”

July 30th 1945 was the day the USS Indianapolis sank. It only took 12 minutes only 317 people survived. Today, there are only 18 survivors still living.