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Arizona Memorial reopens to visitors

One very welcome bit of good news occurred over the weekend as visitors were allowed to set foot on the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor for the first time in 15 months. The National Park Service reopened foot traffic on the memorial Sunday for the first time since May 2018. Visitors were not allowed to go on the memorial after a problem was discovered in its dock’s anchoring system.

An Associated Press story about the reopening said that high tides dislodged concrete blocks in the harbor that held chains that secured the dock.

The attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, by Japanese fighters brought the United States into World War II. Eight battleships were sunk or damaged in the attack on the harbor; airfields in the area were also struck by the Japanese planes.

Of the 2,300 or so members of the U.S. military killed in the initial attack, some 1,100 were on the USS Arizona.

The memorial opened in 1962 and plays host to around 2 million visitors annually. We know that virtually every guest of ours from the Mainland has gone to see the resting place of the Arizona.

The Arizona is now joined at Pearl Harbor by the USS Missouri. The Missouri, of course, was the ship that carried Gen. Douglas MacArthur and Adm. Chester Nimitz into Tokyo Bay for the formal surrender of the Japanese that ended the war.

With Sunday’s reopening of the USS Arizona Memorial, visitors can once again see the bookends of our country’s deadliest war in one place — Pearl Harbor.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.