As Memorial Day approaches Monday, Edgar Harrell, who survived the sinking of the USS Indianapolis during World War II, says Americans need to pay more respect to those serving in the armed forces.
"We still have boys that are in harm's way today, and if we expect to ever have freedom restored to America again, we're going to have to realize what freedom costs," Harrell told J.D. Hayworth, Morgan Thompson, and John Bachman on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV.
"And we need to pay more respect to our servicemen that are serving our country today," he added.
The World War II veteran also said that if America is going to be a free nation like it once was, it needs to return to God.
"Our government needs to realize that we are gradually losing our freedom, and if freedom is worth fighting for, we're going to have to turn the corner and realize that if America is to exist as a God-honoring, freedom-honoring, loving nation, we're going to have to get back to God," he said.
Story continues below video.
After delivering parts of the two atomic bombs that were dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima to bring World War II to an end, the USS Indianapolis was attacked by a Japanese submarine, with 1,196 passengers on board. According to Harrell, the ship went "down in about 12 minutes."
He said that about 900 soldiers and members of the crew found themselves in shark-infested waters, where they also faced severe dehydration for almost five days. Harrell was one of 300 soldiers to survive the attack.
"My story has to do with my experience, those four-and-a-half days swimming in shark-infested waters, seeing boys gored, seeing boys disemboweled or the bottom torso gone, seeing boys drink saltwater and go completely crazy and they become your enemies, seeing the fact that boys would drink the saltwater by straining it through some of their clothing, yet in spite of that others that would not succumb to that, you see that they now are suffering from dehydration. No water, no water, and the body is fast disappearing," Harrell told Newsmax, describing his experience.
Harrell tells his story in "Out of the Depths: An Unforgettable WWII Story of Survival, Courage, and the Sinking of the USS Indianapolis."
© 2016 Newsmax. All rights reserved.