Remembering the USS Arizona


The sinking of the USS Arizona means a great deal to Arizonans, especially to those of us who had the honor of serving at Pearl Harbor. There are many memorials on base commemorating the Japanese attack but none so moving as the USS Arizona Memorial, which was dedicated 20 years after the event.

One of the bells from the Pennsylvania-class battleship hangs at the University of Arizona in Tucson. On Sunday, a survivor from the attack was there to ring the bell in memory of those many men lost 74 years ago. Ruben Moreno, bandleader of the brilliant Mariachi Luz de Luna, played taps as 94-year-old Lauren Bruner honored his fallen shipmates.


Published in Military
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  1. EJHill Podcaster

    Time is relentless and uncaring.

    Still we do not realize how close we are to certain events. Today we are 74 years removed from the events of Pearl Harbor. For men aboard ship that day, 74 years back would have placed them in an America with only 37 states and in the second year of reconstruction after the Civil War.

    We are old but still so very young.

    • #1
  2. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos

    “Japanese attack” is like so 5-minutes ago.  Should be “Multi-site workplace violence incident.”

    And “Arizona” conjures notions of latent racism.  And isn’t the whole war hero thing sexist and rape-inducing?

    1941 is also the year of the founding of the Viet Minh who brought communism to Vietnam.  Doesn’t  that deserve equal billing?

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  3. Valiuth Inactive

    To channel my inner Trump I prefer ships that don’t sink.

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  4. Susan the Buju Contributor
    Susan the Buju

    We owe them so much. I’m filled with gratitude and humility for their service. Thanks, Jon.

    • #4
  5. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt

    Karen and I along with our daughter Kristin visited Pearl Harbor. Before you take a boat out to the Memorial you watch a movie that is not only a record of the attack on December 7th but also the impact of the Pacific War on Americans that lived and died during the war years. There is the usual tourist chatter when touring the museum. The chatter stops after the movie when visitors begin to comprehend what the Memorial means. You are asked to remember that the USS Arizona is a tomb and to respect the ship as the final resting place for sailors and officers of the Arizona. The request was heeded before it was made.

    Everyone was silent at the Memorial. The names of those lost on December 7th engraved on the wall is sobering. Watching small amounts of oil come to the surface from the hull of Arizona and then watching sailors help families that brought leis and wreaths to place in the water that covers the Arizona is difficult to do without shedding a tear.

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  6. BrentB67 Inactive

    Every time we returned from deployment it was an honor to don whites, man the rails pulling into Pearl Harbor, and render honors to the USS Arizona.

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  7. John Davey Member
    John Davey

    Every time we are in Oahu, I visit the Arizona Memorial. It continues to be one of the more humbling places to visit.

    Now that USS Missouri rests alongside Arizona at Ford Island, history is bookend-ed there, at that hallowed site – the beginning and ending of America’s war against fascism, where we helped save the world and define the American century.

    Flag from USS Arizona, December 12, 1996.

    Flag from USS Arizona, December 12, 1996.

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  8. RabbitHoleRedux Inactive

    EJHill: an America with only 37 states and in the second year of reconstruction after the Civil War. We are old but still so very young.

    So true. It seems not that long ago, and also ages and ages past all at the same time. Perspective is a funny thing. It’s so important to commemorate those wonderful courageous young men.

    • #8
  9. Capt. Spaulding Member
    Capt. Spaulding

    I have also visited Pearl Harbor and seen that particular introductory film. It is indeed stirring and sobering. There were tears among the tourists. I recall that the female narrator, who used a low, grave voice, was not credited. At the time I suspected it was Stockard Channing. Years later an entertainment writer I know was being sent to interview her for some movie or other, and I requested that perhaps she could ask about that Pearl Harbor documentary. She did, and Ms. Channing confirmed her work on the film.

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  10. Judithann Campbell Member
    Judithann Campbell

    Thank you for this post.

    • #10
  11. Arizona Patriot Member
    Arizona Patriot

    Arizona certainly was a mighty vessel.  About 32,000 tons full load, speed of 21 knots, carrying 12 14-inch main guns in four triple turrets.  Commissioned in October 1916, she was a close match for any ship afloat until the pre-WWII construction appeared in 1940-41 (Bismarck-Tirpitz, King George V class, North Carolina class, Yamato-Musashi).

    I know, during the interwar years everybody thought that the Hood was the mightiest ship afloat, but Hood’s disastrous encounter with Bismarck belied that belief.

    By an interesting coincidence, I’ve lived in Arizona most of my life, but was born in the state of her sister ship Pennsylvania.

    May those lost at Pearl Harbor rest in peace.

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  12. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.

    Have you all seen this? I believe it was only found recently. Seeing it in color collapsed my sense that it was “ages and ages past.” I suppose my mind has been conditioned to see color film as “contemporary” and black-and-white as “history.”

    Compare your emotional response to seeing it in black-and-white:

    Do you have the same reaction as I did?

    • #12
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