Sure, we all know the date, December 7th, 1941, and the famous quote, “a date which will live in infamy”, and of course the implications and significance – 2,402 Americans were killed, and it launched the United States into World War II.
Here are a few things that you may not have known!
Survivors of the attack have the option to join their lost comrades and make Pearl Harbor their final resting place. Crewmembers who served on board the USS Arizona when the attack occurred may choose to have their ashes deposited by divers beneath one of the sunken turrets. Roughly 30 USS Arizona survivors have chosen this option, and only about a dozen of the 355 survivors are known to still be alive.
On December 6th, the day before the attack, the USS Arizona took on a full load of fuel-nearly 1.5 million gallons. Much of that fuel helped ignite the explosion and subsequent fires that destroyed the ship. But amazingly some of the fuel continues to seep out of the wreckage. The USS Arizona continues to spill up to 9 quarts of oil into the harbor each day and visitors often say it is as if the ship was still bleeding.
I spent 6 months of my life in Oahu, Hawaii and was fortunate to go visit Pearl Harbor and take a tour of the USS Arizona, and you really can still see the oil coming up. You see the memorial and all of the names of our Veterans that were part of this. It gives you a really eerie feeling. It’s almost makes you feel like you were really there.
“Pearl Harbor caused our Nation to wholeheartedly commit to winning World War II, changing the course of our Nation’s history and the world’s future.”
73 years ago today!
DC Webb is Park Manager for the Manassas Park Parks and Recreation Department. He can be reached at 703.335.8872 x2122 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.