Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Arizona Memorial

A most somber experience. God bless our service men and women. For those that have served and those that are serving, thank you.

USS Arizona, a 31,400 ton Pennsylvania class battleship built at the New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, New York, was commissioned in October 1916. After shakedown off the east coast and in the Caribbean, she operated out of Norfolk, Virginia, until November 1918, when she made a brief cruise to France.

She made a second cruise to European waters in April-June 1919, proceeding as far east as Turkey. During much of 1920-21, the battleship was in the western Atlantic and Caribbean areas, but paid two visits to Peru in 1921 in her first excursions into the Pacific. From August 1921 until 1929, Arizona was based in Southern California, making occasional cruises to the Caribbean or Hawaii during major U.S. Fleet exercises.

In 1929-31, Arizona was modernized at the Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Virginia, emerging with a radically altered appearance and major improvements to her armament and protection. In March 1931, she transported President Herbert Hoover and his party to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. In August of that year, Arizona returned to the Pacific, continuing her operations with the Battle Fleet during the next decade. From 1940, she, and the other Pacific Fleet battleships, were based at Pearl Harbor on the orders of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Arizona was moored in Pearl Harbor's "Battleship Row" on the morning of 7 December 1941, when Japanese carrier aircraft attacked. She was hit by several bombs, one of which penetrated her forecastle and detonated her forward ammunition magazines. The resulting massive explosion totally wrecked the ship's forward hull, collapsing her forward superstructure and causing her to sink, with the loss of over 1100 of her crewmen. In the following months, much of her armament and topside structure was removed, with the two after triple 14" gun turrets being transferred to the Army for emplacement as coast defense batteries on Oahu.

The wrecked battleship's hull remained where she sank, a tomb for many of those lost with her. In 1950, she began to be used as a site for memorial ceremonies, and, in the early 1960s a handsome memorial structure was constructed over her midships hull. This USS Arizona Memorial, operated by the National Park Service, is a permanent shrine to those Americans who lost their lives in the attack on Pearl Harbor and in the great Pacific War that began there. Source: Naval History & Heritage
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12 comments :

  1. Some military friends of mine were there last year. They said it was very humbling indeed.

    Big hugs xoxo

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  2. I bet that was quite an experience. That sure looks like one great Shrine to all those that lost their lives in the attack on Pearl Harbor. Thanks for the info.

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  3. Just reading about the Arizona brings a sense of reverence to my soul.

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  4. i stood right there and it was such a somber experience. so many lives lost.

    big hugs, bee
    xoxoxoxooxox

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  5. An unforgettable memorial.

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  6. It is a sight one never forgets. I also give thanks for those who fight for our protection, now and in the past.

    Big hugs from chilly FL, honey...

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  7. I've only seen this in pictures. I can't imagine the feeling of really being there.

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  8. What an experience :) may God indeed bless the service men and women!

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  9. Thanks for the nice run down on the Arizona site. I am glad you got to go there! You are too!
    ..

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  10. I've never been there but I know the feeling you mean. I went to the Museum/Memorial at the Nagasaki Peace Park which is at the centre of where the atomic bomb exploded. It was the same, a very sombre feeling when you consider the amount of lives that were lost there.

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  11. P.S. Hawaii was the one place I always hoped to get a trip to when I was in the Navy but neither of the ships I was on went there. My son who was in the Navy too had the luck to score a trip there & he said it was the most beautiful place. He hired a newest model Mustang while he was there. At 22 years old I think that car was the highlight of his life.

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  12. A touching post indeed! It was also very interesting and informative.

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