Arizona survivor interred

Rear Adm. John Fuller, commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacifi c, carries the ashes of Master Chief Raymond Haerry to the memorial landing dock to be interred in the USS Arizona. Photos courtesy of Pacifi c Historic Parks

Rear Adm. John Fuller, commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacifi c, carries the ashes of Master Chief Raymond Haerry to the memorial landing dock to be interred in the USS Arizona. Photos courtesy of Pacifi c Historic Parks

Jim Neuman

Historian, Navy Region Hawaii

A new name has been engraved in the hallowed Shrine Room of the USS Arizona Memorial. The name is Raymond Haerry. On Saturday, April 15, retired Master Chief Haerry was buried with his shipmates in the wreckage of the USS Arizona, honored by a military ceremony before a crowd of more than 100 guests.

Haerry was a Pearl Harbor survivor and crewmember of the USS Arizona who witnessed the tragedy of that day as well as the remainder of World War II and the Korean War, serving for 25 years in the U.S. Navy.

As the ceremony unfolded, Rear Adm. John Fuller, commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, said that standing in the memorial “makes one think about great qualities and great character in action. Courage, selflessness and sacrifice…We honored those qualities then and we honor those qualities now.”

Divers with the National Park Service and the U.S. Navy prepare to place the ashes in the wreckage of USS Arizona.

Divers with the National Park Service and the U.S. Navy prepare to place the ashes in the wreckage of USS Arizona.

Alfred Preis, the architect of the Arizona Memorial, intended the design of the iconic structure to be simple, yet elegant with a subtle symbolism reflecting his belief that America is basically a peaceful nation that would have to be provoked to war, but once aroused would persevere to ultimate victory. He hoped that the memorial spanning the final resting place of more than 900 Sailors and Marines would provide the opportunity for visitors worldwide to reflect on the meaning of vigilance in the face of tyranny, selfless courage under fire, and the defense of freedom for the cause of peace.

Fuller’s comments reflected that hope through the life of Haerry.

“He taught us about courage. Not the absence of fear, but a deep abiding belief in something greater than self. The willingness to die for that belief, but—even more profound—the willingness to live, and fight for what is right. To act on that belief…despite the risk of personal consequence.”

Several Sailors from the master chief community were present at the ceremony to pay respects to one of their own.

“I can sum up my thoughts in one word…‘humbling’,” said Master Chief Robert Lyons, command master chief of Naval Operations Support Center.

Master Chief Raymond Haerry's name is the latest to be engraved in the Shrine Room. A total of 42 survivors are interred on USS Arizona.

Master Chief Raymond Haerry’s name is the latest to be engraved in the Shrine Room. A total of 42 survivors are interred on USS Arizona.

“I was awe-struck by the patriotism of a man who experienced one of the most horrific scenes of recorded naval warfare and went on to serve 25 years and achieve the rank of master chief. It was an honor to pay tribute to a Sailor who served through some of America’s most trying times as a true hero.”

According to Raymond Haerry, Jr., his father said later in life “he felt that if there’s any place that he’d like to be at rest, it would be with his crewmates, the people who suffered and died on that day.”

That request was fulfilled as the urn containing Haerry’s remains was lowered into the water and he joined his shipmates on the USS Arizona, as his granddaughter Jessica Marino and her family looked on.

His name is the latest to be engraved with 41 other survivors who chose to have their ashes interred in the ship. They are added to the 1,177 names of Sailors and Marines lost on Dec. 7, 1941.

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Category: News