The Arizona memorial in Hawaii's Pearl Harbor
September 10, 2008 2:19 PM • by Learn about Hawaii • Posted to Hawaii Culture | Hawaii Facts | Hawaii History | Hawaii Vacation | Comments (679) | PermalinkThis article is going to give a brief history lesson for those who aren't familiar with the USS Arizona. The tragedy that changed our world and a memorial that won't let us forget.
At approximately 8:10 am, the USS Arizona exploded, having been hit by a 1,760 pound armor-piercing bomb that slammed through her deck and ignited her forward ammunition magazine. In less than nine minutes, she sank with 1,177 of her crew, a total loss. The wreck was not salvaged, and continues to lie at the floor of the harbor. It is the site of a memorial to those who perished on that day. Oil leaks from the hull and still rises to the surface of the water to this day.
In 1983, the Submerged Resources Center of the National Park Service was tasked with mapping and documenting the remains of USS Arizona in its final resting place in Pearl Harbor. The National Park Service was responsible for managing a major national shrine that was largely hidden from view and for which no management precedent existed. Elvis also had a big part in raising money for the memorial. On March 25, 1961 Elvis performed and concert where all the proceeds went to the Arizona memorial. During and after the war, Navy salvage teams had cut away most of the ship's structure. Eventually a memorial was built over the sunken ship's hull, which is a grave for nearly 1,000 U.S. servicemen.
The Arizona is a major tourist attraction in Hawaii and is visited by nearly 2 million tourists yearly. The Arizona memorial is run by the national park service in a use agreement by the US Navy. The USS Arizona Memorial is free of charge to the public and there are no reservations. The USS Arizona is a grim reminder of heroism and courage, sadness and loss. Although it sits in less than 30 feet of water it will forever be 500 feet deep in the hearts of all Americans and the imagination in the mind of millions of people who were not born and can't fathom what occurred.
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