PEARL HARBOR — Kitsap Military Times Special Correspondent Kathy Sole is in Hawaii and throughout the week of Dec. 4-10 will be filing reports live from the 75th Anniversary Pearl Harbor Commemoration. Cole is the president of the Kingston Historical Society.
Sole reports that Sunday, Dec. 4 was a day of somber and happy moments.
The happy moment came when the first ship she and her husband saw on their tour of Pearl Harbor was the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), here from its homeport in Bremerton for the 75th commemoration.
The somber moment came when they visited the USS Arizona Memorial, the eternal tomb of the 1,177 crewmen who perished aboard her on Dec. 7, 1941. As the Arizona survivors have passed away, many have asked that their ashes be returned to rest with their shipmates. National Park Service divers place the ashes in a special urn that opens inside the sunken ship.
“I tell the family, when I feel that pull, it’s the ship accepting one of its own back,” one NPS dive team member has said.
Sole also said they have received word that the prime minister of Japan will be attending the ceremonies. “We’ve been told this is the first time a Japanese prime minister has ever come to Pearl Harbor,” she said.
In her future dispatches, Sole will report on her interviews with three Pearl Harbor survivors and her emotions touring the USS Missouri, the battleship upon whose deck the Empire of Japan formally surrendered in 1945. She will also report on her interviews with Japanese students she met and interviewed on the “Mighty Mo.”