Pearl Harbor, USS Missouri and USS Arizona Memorial

February 02, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

The Battleship Missouri

or “Mighty Mo”, is perhaps the best known, and most used ship in U.S. History. There are guided tours or you walk the decks of this amazing battleship, which fought in World War II and the Gulf War, marvel at its massive gun turrets, and take a self-guided exploration through the living quarters and command center of the great America warship.

In 1999, the battleship USS Missouri was moved to Pearl Harbor from the United States west coast and docked near  the USS Arizona Memorial. 

Deck of the USS MissouriJapanese Surrendered on this deck

Upon the deck of the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, the Japanese surrendered to United States General Douglas MacArthur and Admiral Chester Nimitz, ending World War II. (Image Left) The pairing of the two ships became an evocative symbol of the beginning and end of the United States' participation in the war.

The initial placement of the Missouri was greatly criticized, saying the large battleship would "overshadow" the Arizona Memorial. To help guard against this perception Missouri was placed well back of the Arizona Memorial, and positioned in Pearl Harbor in such a way as to prevent those participating in military ceremonies on Missouri's aft decks from seeing the Arizona Memorial. The decision to have Missouri's bow face the Memorial was intended to convey that the Missouri now watches over the remains of the Arizona so that those interred within the Arizona's hull may rest in peace. (Image Below) These measures have helped preserve the individual identities of the Arizona Memorial and the Missouri Memorial, which has improved the public's perception of having both Arizona and Missouri in the same harbor.

Standing WatchBattleship Missouri standing watch over the USS Arizona Memorial

 

The USS Arizona Memorial

located at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii, marks the resting place of 1,102 of the 1,177 sailors and Marines killed on the USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 by Japanese imperial forces and commemorates the events of that day. The attack on Pearl Harbor and the island of Oʻahu was the action that led to the United States' direct involvement in World War II.

The memorial, built in 1962, is visited by more than one million people annually. Accessible only by boat, it straddles the sunken hull of the battleship without touching it. Historical information about the attack, shuttle boats to and from the memorial, and general visitor services are available at the associated USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center, which opened in 1980 and is operated by the National Park Service. The sunken remains of the battleship were declared a National Historic Landmark on 5 May 1989.

 


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