Sunday, December 7, 2008

Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona

USS Arizona Memorial
Courtesy NPS Collection

Today we remember Pearl Harbor, the USS Arizona and all those who lost their lives in the December 7, 1941 attack and those who live with the scars and the memories of that day. The USS Arizona sank within nine minutes of being hit by an armor-piercing bomb that ignited her forward ammunition magazine, taking 1,177 lives. The USS Utah and the USS Oklahoma were also destroyed. A total of 21 ships were either sunk or damaged. A total of 2,388 lives were lost and 1178 were wounded.

This attack led to the United States becoming involved in WWII. The citizens of Northern Arizona, including Flagstaff, Hopi and Navajo communities, joined the rest of the country in the massive war effort. If you want to learn about this time, read Arizona's War Town: Flagstaff, Navajo Ordinance Depot, and World War II by John S. Westerlund.

The National Park Service is tasked with preserving and protecting the USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor, which spans the mid-section of the ship that still lies underwater where she sank. The Memorial website gives an overview of the history of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, including historic pictures, a submerged cultural resources study and the thoughts of survivors.

For more resources, visit the Arizona Memorial Museum website.

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