Today, the Battleship Missouri Memorial hosted a special End of World War II Commemoration Ceremony to mark the 68th anniversary of that historic occasion, the sacrifice that made it possible, and recognize how a new era of collaboration between former rivals was ushered in that day.
â€œThe ceremony onboard the Missouri 68 years ago was as much about ending the war as starting a new and lasting spirit of friendship between Japan and the U.S. that continues today,â€ said Michael A. Carr, President and COO of the Battleship Missouri Memorial. â€œWhen you listen to the timeless message of General Douglas MacArthur from the ceremony and read the reaction from the Japanese delegation following it, the roots for our enduring friendship began that day.â€
Todayâ€™s event was also highlighted by the unveiling and dedication of a new 9-foot bronze and granite statue of Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz, USN, who directed the War in the Pacific, by the Naval Order of the United States. The statue will be permanently installed in Pearl Harbor at Pier Foxtrot 5, the pier where the Missouri is berthed.
Carr noted, â€œWe are deeply honored to have this magnificent statue honoring Admiral Chester Nimitz, one of Americaâ€™s most distinguished military leaders, as part of the Battleship Missouri Memorial visitor experience. Guests who come and walk the decks of the Missouri will now have a greater appreciation about the enormously important role that Admiral Nimitz had in ending the war and restoring peace.â€
Admiral Cecil D. Haney, Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, presented the keynote address for todayâ€™s End of World War II ceremony.
Also speaking at the ceremony was Captain Michael Lilly, USN (Ret.), board member of the USS Missouri Memorial Association; Chester Nimitz Lay, grandson of Admiral Nimitz; Jeff Harding, a historian who spoke about Admiral Nimitzâ€™s accomplishments; and Collin Sitz, a Radford High School freshman who won the Battleship Missouri Memorialâ€™s September 2nd Essay Contest.
In addition, a special recorded message for todayâ€™s ceremony was delivered from the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier, which is currently on deployment, by Rear Admiral Michael S. White, Strike Group Commander; Captain Jeff S. Ruth, Commanding Officer of the USS Nimitz; and select crewmembers.
Photo by Hi Shotz Photography on behalf of the USS Missouri Memorial Association.