Friday, December 7, 2012

Pearl Harbor Day

December 7, 1941

A date which will live in matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the american people, in their righteous might, will win through to absolute victory.

-President Franklin D. Roosevelt



This photo above is very moving to me.  Not because of the USS Peleliu (LHA-5) on the left rendering honors as they pass the Arizona Memorial, but because of the ship on the right, behind the Memorial.

The USS Missouri (BB-63), aka the Mighty Mo.    She is known because upon her decks is where the Japanese surrendered, officially ending World War II.

At one point in time, while I was serving in our US Navy, I was stationed on board the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) In late 1995 we were temporarily homeported at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Washington for an overhaul of the ship requiring us to be in drydock.  But I digress.

PSNS was also a place where decommissioned ships were kept "in mothballs" until they were either needed again, sold or scrapped.  The ships were basically sad, rusting hulks of steel silently floating in their berths.   One day, one of the old timers that I worked with got permission to re-enlist on one of those ships that he had been stationed on - the USS New Jersey (BB-62).  As we all trooped down the pier, we couldn't help but notice the New Jersey's sister ship tied up across the pier.  The Missouri.  We all stopped and looked at this magnificent piece of history, rusting quietly along with all the rest.  It literally brought tears.

Thankfully, in May 1998, The Secretary of the Navy signed her over to the USS Missouri Memorial Association and was towed to Pearl Harbor where she now sits facing the Arizona, 500 yards away.  Some say she is watching over the remains of the Arizona so that those who are still aboard can rest in peace.

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