Really can’t improve on this.
I’ve visited the USS Arizona on all three of my trips to Hawaii.
Last time I visited there were a bunch of teenagers who were showing their collective asses. ?That didn’t happen this time. ?The mood of the crowd was appropriately somber, reflective, and respectful. ?It’s the final resting places for hundreds of sailors. ?Those sailors’ average age on December 7, 1941: ?20.
Many of the over 300 sailors who were not on the ship at the time of the attack or those who survived the attack asked to be interred with their shipmates once they passed.
The plaque below says:
This memorial honors the fallen crew of the USS Arizona and all those who died in the attack on December 7, 1941. ?The remains of over 900 Arizona crewmen rest beneath you within the sunken battleship. ?Just ahead is an open area where you can look down onto the ship. ?The Shrine Room beyond displays the names of the 1177 Arizona crewmen lost in the attack. Another list honors Arizona survivors who have rejoined their shipmates in the waters below.
A National Park Service diver holds an urn containing the ashes of an Arizona crewman. ?She will place it within the circular barbette that once held gun turret 4.
“It’s a large hole and we place the urn through and then you can kind of feel it release . . . I tell the family, when I feel that pull, it’s the ship accepting one of its own back.”
There were two lines to get tickets. ?One line was selling a $65 “see everything at Pearl Harbor” pass. It included a tour to the USS Missouri, the USS Utah, the USS Oklahoma, and some other things. ?I really didn’t want to drop $65, I have to admit. ?I figured I’d think about purchasing the ticket while I took the boat out to the Arizona Memorial.
When I got to the front of the line for the Arizona, the park ranger says, “Eleven thirty.” ?I handed him a $20. ?”Uhh, no,” he said. ?”11:30 is the start time for the movie. ?To visit the Memorial is free.”
The only thing I would have enjoyed seeing is the location on the USS Missouri where representatives of the Empire of Japan signed the surrender documents for World War II.
Update: ?I didn’t plan it this way, but the day I visited happened to be the 70th anniversary of the signing of the surrender document on the Missouri on September 2, 1945.
The Mighty Mo.
Speaking of Japan, there were a?lot?of Japanese tourists.
And one Arizona?survivor. ?Pharmacist’s Mate Second Class Sterling Cale.