The Somber Sunken Wreck Of The Battleship USS Arizona In Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor
Saluting the fallen at the USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor. March 10, 2013
At 7.55 a.m. on Sunday 7 December 1941, the first of two waves of Japanese aircraft began their surprise & deadly attack on the US Pacific Fleet moored at Pearl Harbor on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu. It all happened so quickly & within two hours five battleships had been sunk, with another 16 damaged, and 188 aircraft destroyed. Only chance saved three U.S. aircraft carriers, usually stationed at Pearl Harbor but assigned elsewhere on the day. The attacks killed over 2,400 Americans, with another 1,178 injured. Today the slightly disturbing sight of the sunken wreck of the battleship USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor is a touching & insightful commemoration of those who died that day & of the tragic events which brought the US into the mire of World War II.
‘A Date Which Will Live In Infamy’
– President Franklin D. Roosevelt, December 8 1941, speech asking Congress to declare war on Japan.
Visiting Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor today is still a functioning navy base & the site of several memorials honoring the fallen of the war. A visit is free but it is ticketed with limited ticket numbers available daily – tickets are given out on a first-come-first-served basis and typically run out by noon on busy days when wait times of about one hour or more are not uncommon.
The visit starts with a the viewing of an interpretive film about the attack, the build-up to it, the attack itself, & the attack aftermath.
You then board a US Navy ferry which serves the route to and from the white marble USS Arizona Memorial, built over the hull of the sunken battleship. The somber memorial commemorates & serves as the final resting place for many of the 1,177 servicemen who died on the doomed ship itself.
A Plaque On Display On The USS Arizona Memorial
To The Eternal Memory
Of Our Gallant Shipmates
In The USS Arizona
Who Gave Their Lives In Action
7 December 1941
‘From Today On The USS Arizona
Will Again Fly Our Countries Flag
Just As Proudly As She Did On The
Morning Of 7 December 1941.
I Am Sure The Arizona’s Crew Will
Know And Appreciate What We Are
– Admiral A.W. Radford, USN, 7 March 1950
MAY GOD MAKE HIS FACE
TO SHINE UPON THEM
AND GRANT THEM PEACE