REMEMBERING PEARL HARBOR, DECEMBER 7, 1941: HONORING 400,000 AMERICANS WHO DIED IN WORLD WAR II

LETTER TO EDITOR: REMEMBERING PEARL HARBOR
by Tony Fiore, Contributor to Gulfport Gabber, Pinellas County, Florida

Dear Editor: It was 66 years ago that the Japanese launched their sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, Hawaii, United States of America. In those brutal, chaotic 110 minutes, 2340 service personnel and 48 civilians died.
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On May 29, 2004, the World War II Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C. It honors the "Greatest Generation" as well as the more than 16 million men and women who served in uniform, the more than 400,000 Americans who died in the war, as well as the millions more who supported the effort at home.
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Many of us World War II veterans may never see the Memorial because we are too old or sick to travel, but we know it's there for future generations to see and remember!
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There is another Memorial, the U.S.S. Arizona, in Pearl Harbor. Every year more than 1.5 million people visit the 184-foot long memorial spanning the midsection of the sunken ship. It has the status of a National Cemetery, honoring the 1177 men entombed in the rusty wreckage a few feet beneath the lapping water of this massive navy base.
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A visit to the Arizona tears your heart out, knowing that you are standing over those brave men buried there. Most of the first-hand witnesses to the Pearl Harbor attack, American and Japanese, are gone now or soon will be.
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The U.S.S. Indianapolis which delivered the bomb that would end World War II was torpedoed and 880 of the 1197 sailors and marines on board survived. A memorial in honor of those who died during the disaster was dedicated in Indianapolis, Indiana.
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Buried beneath the memorial is a section of the U.S.S. Arizona, a tribute to both the first and last ships that sank during World War II. Congress recognized the Indianapolis display as a National Memorial. As with all lost ships, the Navy lists its status as "still at sea".
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Always remember Pearl Harbor. God Bless America!

Tony Fiore

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