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    End of WWII Commemoration Held Aboard USS Missouri

    75th Anniversary of the End of WWII aboard Battleship Missouri Memorial

    Photo By Chief Petty Officer Gilbert Bolibol | JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii (September 2, 2020) Three F-22 Hawaiian Raptors...... read more read more



    Story by Lt. Joseph Seymour 

    U.S. Indo-Pacific Command

    JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii - Military service members, civilians and veterans celebrated the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II aboard the Battleship Missouri Memorial at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Sept. 2, 2020.

    Seventy-five years ago, Gen. Douglas MacArthur oversaw the signing of Imperial Japan’s instrument of surrender aboard the USS Missouri. The ceremony honored the historical event by starting at 9:02 a.m., the exact time MacArthur began the official proceedings.

    U.S. Navy Adm. Phil Davidson, commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, spoke of the significance of the historical event as part of his speech during the ceremony.

    “September second is the day that the United States and our Allies turned tragedy into triumph, violence into victory, fighting into freedom, loss into liberty and peril into peace,” Davidson said. “A day that marks the very beginning of the rules-based international order, an order responsible for 75 years of peace, prosperity and security that helped not only to liberate hundreds of millions, but to lift billions out of poverty – all to a level of prosperity previously unseen in human history.”

    Out of an abundance of caution due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ceremony was scaled back and presented virtually, with fewer than 50 people in attendance aboard the Missouri. All attendees and personnel wore masks and respected social distancing, after first passing a health screening.

    Secretary of Defense Mark Esper attended and echoed Davidson’s sentiments.

    “As we look to the path ahead, we honor the legacy of those who came before us,” Esper said. “It is fitting that we are gathered here today. This ship, which was built for war, has since been dedicated to peace and reconciliation.”

    Arthur Shak, who served as a second lieutenant with the 484th Bombardment Group, and was stationed in the Philippines during the final year of the war, attended the ceremony.

    “I am proud of my service and that we are all being honored here today,” said Shak.

    Governor of Hawaii David Ige discussed why the event was meaningful to him, “On this day, on this deck, 75 years ago, we marked the end in the Pacific theater of a great global war that touched every man, woman and child of my parent’s generation.”

    “Victory came at a high price, paid for by those who suffered and died on the front lines, as well as those who endured hardship and uncertainty on the home front,” Ige said. “There remains only one thing left for us to say today: ‘Thank you. Thank you.’ We pray they grasp the depth of those words and the immensity of our debt.”

    Originally scheduled to host 52 World War II veterans, the decision was made to include only the 12 World War II veterans who live in Hawaii. After the ceremony, Secretary Esper held a virtual call with a number of the veterans who were unable to attend.

    The event was live streamed for the world to watch and featured highlights from the previous weekend’s Legacy of Peace aerial flights and a fireworks ceremony -- a gift from Japan that included three chrysanthemums, a symbol of peace.

    The commemoration also featured a pass in review by the USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112), a flyby from the Warbirds and concluded with a missing man formation performed by three F-22 Hawaiian Raptors. Finally, combining military history and Hawaiian heritage, the ceremony featured a performance of “The Queen’s Prayer” by Marlene Sai, who honored the Sept. 2 birthday of Queen Liliuokalani.



    Date Taken: 09.02.2020
    Date Posted: 09.03.2020 17:12
    Story ID: 377369
    Location: HONOLULU, HI, US 

    Web Views: 78
    Downloads: 0