It was a dark day in our country’s history on December 7, 1941, when more than 2,000 Americans were killed by a surprise air attack from Japan which ultimately launched WWII. Here are some interesting facts about Pearl Harbor that may be new to you:
1. Many of the battleships that were sunk on that day have been resurrected.
Six out of eight battleships have since been repaired and returned to the U.S. Navy’s fleet including two that have sunk completely: The USS West Virginia and the USS California were raised by the Navy repaired and reused. Also, many bullet holes can still be seen at the active military installations in Oahu. They serve as a reminder of the lives that were sacrificed on that day.
2. Veterans of the Pearl Harbor attack may be laid to rest there.
Those who were there and survived the attack have the option to be joined with their comrades that were lost on that day. For example, crew members from the USS Arizona may have their ashes deposited by divers beneath its sunken gun turrets. Approximately 30 survivors of this battleship have chosen this as their final resting place. Options for other survivors include having their ashes scattered wherever their ship was located at the time of the attacks.
3. The USS Arizona has an ongoing fuel leak.
The fuel load for this battleship on the day of the attack was almost 1.5 million gallons! That amount of fuel triggered a massive explosion and many fires that destroyed the ship on the day of the attack. However, even now, some fuel continues to leak from the wreckage, up to 9 quarts of oil a day! Due to this, many visitors say that it is as if the Arizona is still bleeding.
4. During the 2013 government shutdown, service members in Hawaii took control of the memorial site.
When the government was such down for more than two weeks, the memorial was left unattended and that’s when military members stationed there took it upon themselves to take care of the site. They raked, weeded and mowed the overgrown grass, as if to say to all veterans, “We haven’t forgotten about you. We will not forget about you.”