It captured the nation in 2009 and the story continues today.
"We're prepared for the worst and as ready as we can be," Capt. Richard Phillips said. "I always told my crew a matter of attack was a matter of when, not if."
Captain Richard Phillips of Underhill was taken hostage by Somali pirates off the horn of Africa. The pirates seized his unarmed cargo ship, the Maersk Alabama. It was the first U.S.-flagged ship hijacked since the 19th century.
"They took me aboard. They were not happy punches and slaps to the head, hitting me with their pistols, tying me up so tight I still have scars today," Phillips said.
The pirates held the merchant marine on a life boat for five days, demanding ransom.
"I vowed I would not give up," Phillips said. "If I gave up I'd be a hostage, just something they could ransom or murder. If I didn't give up, I could play mind games with them as they were playing with me."
The captain was eventually rescued by Navy SEAL snipers who shot and killed the pirates.
Captain Phillips shared his story of survival at the Elks Club in Burlington Thursday, with one main message.
"We really are stronger than we know," he said.
Reporter Gina Bullard: I know it's been years, but is a difficult thing to talk about, rehash over and over?
Capt. Richard Phillips: Not really at all, it's ancient history. It's past news, not news anymore. After I came home, after a few weeks, I haven't thought much about it.
But Hollywood thought about it and made Captain Phillips' story into a movie. Tom Hanks plays the captain. The two have met several times. Phillips saw the trailer to the movie and says it seems... tense.
"I hope it stays true to the story and doesn't get Hollywoodized too much," Phillips said.