Memorial to commemorate end of World War II anniversary

Story and photos by Battleship Missouri Memorial Association

The USS Missouri Memorial Association will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II with a Sept. 2 ceremony at the Battleship Missouri Memorial, featuring the theme, “The Day that Launched a Better Future.”

Held on the forward pier where the retired USS Missouri is berthed in Pearl Harbor, the ceremony will begin at 9:02 a.m. That is the exact time on Sept. 2, 1945 when Gen. Douglas MacArthur, supreme commander for the Allied Powers, began the formal proceedings for Imperial Japan’s surrender, heard on radio worldwide, to bring the war to an end.

The ceremony will honor the veterans of World War II, recognizing how their sacrifice and bravery not only restored world peace 70 years ago, but also ushered in a new era of international collaboration, partnership and friendship between former enemies that continues today.

“Here in hallowed Pearl Harbor, in the presence of the USS Missouri and USS Arizona memorials – the two iconic battleships representing America’s ‘bookends’ of World War II – this ceremony provides a special opportunity to honor the extraordinary sacrifice and service of our veterans, while memorializing one of the most significant dates in world history,” said Michael Carr, president and CEO of the Battleship Missouri Memorial.

The ceremony’s keynote address will be delivered by U.S. Sen. Hawaii Brian Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.

Adm. Scott Swift, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, will also address attendees as the ceremony’s distinguished guest speaker, sharing his perspective on the significance of the anniversary and the lasting impact that World War II has had on the nation’s armed forces.

Also speaking at the ceremony will be U.S. Rep. Mark Takai who will present an Award of Special Congressional Recognition to the Battleship Missouri Memorial. He will be accompanied by more than 20 members of the U.S. House of Representatives who are scheduled to attend. Tim Guard, chairman of the board for the USS Missouri Memorial Association, will also present remarks.

The commemoration by the Battleship Missouri Memorial will feature an exhibit of rare historic artifacts that were part of the ceremony 70 years ago, including the two pens used by Fleet Adm. Chester Nimitz to sign the Japanese Instrument of Surrender on behalf of the United States, and one of the pens used by MacArthur.

The pens are on loan from the U.S. Naval Academy Museum, the MacArthur Memorial and the Nanjing Museum in China. The event will also include participation from Hawaii’s military community and a student essay contest winner.

The ceremony is free and open to the public. To reserve a seat and receive complimentary round-trip shuttle service to the ceremony from the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, guests are encouraged to RSVP via e-mail at RSVP@ussmissouri.org.

For those who are unable to attend the ceremony in person, the Battleship Missouri Memorial will be live streaming the entire event on its website at https://ussmissouri.org.

(For more information about the event, visit https://ussmissouri.org/get-involved/events/end-of-wwii-commemoration/ .)

Wounded Warrior Canoe Regatta set for Saturday

The sixth annual Na Koa Wounded Warrior Canoe Regatta will be held Saturday in front of the beach at Fort DeRussy in Waikiki. An opening ceremony will be held at 8:30 a.m. with races in four divisions to follow.

The open-ocean sporting event is the official opening event of the annual Duke’s OceanFest and affords Wounded Warriors, active duty, Reserve and National Guard canoe paddling teams the opportunity to compete in various divisions in the spirit of athletics and camaraderie.

The event is sponsored by the Wounded Warrior Project and several local businesses.

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Category: News