WACO, TX — Doris Miller served in the navy during the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack.
On that day he took up arms against attacking forces, saving lives and even earning the nation's highest award.
On the banks of the Brazos River, a statue of Doris Miller stands tall. Miller is a name above many in Central Texas and a memory that should never be forgotten.
Miller served aboard the battleship West Virginia but was not allowed in a combat position because he was African American. On Dec. 7, 1941, while doing laundry, his ship was struck by Japanese bombers.
Miller did the unthinkable. Miller ran to the deck and manned an anti-aircraft gun, something he had no training for. He saved the lives of many, winning him the congressional medal of honor.
Thursday, Dec. 7 on the steps of his memorial, Miller's great-nephew thinks back to his story and is thankful that Waco continued to remember him.
"For me growing up, I saw the Doris Miller behind the scenes," Thomas Bledsoe said. "Hearing the stories to the Doris Miller from the history books to be here and speaking at this moment, is really touching to be and really inspires me to do more."
This day left Miller's Niece Henrietta Miller chocked up, looking out at the sea of strangers who came to honor his life.
"By having this on an annual basis then it sort of continuing his legacy, past on and on," Miller said.
For the people who didn't know who Doris Miller was, he stood for all of us.