Friday, November 7, 2008

Ground Broken on New Pearl Harbor Memorial Museum

This undated photo is an artist's rendering of new Pearl Harbor Memorial Museum looking southwest toward the USS Arizona Memorial . (Courtesy photo.)

Living History:

PEARL HARBOR, Nov. 7, 2008 -- The National Park Service, Navy Region Hawaii and the USS Arizona Memorial Museum Association officially broke ground on a new Pearl Harbor Memorial Museum and Visitor Center Nov. 5 during a groundbreaking ceremony on the back lawn of the USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center in Pearl Harbor.

The new $58 million facility will replace the current USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center shore-side facility.

Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye served as the keynote speaker.

"I can think of very few other places that so symbolically represent our nation's resilient spirit than Pearl Harbor and this memorial," said Inouye. "I want to thank all of you and the hundreds of thousands of others for your collective efforts, for now we will be able to remind our young citizens of the pain and sacrifice that made those who came before them, so that they in turn, may enjoy the fruits of freedom."

Other guest speakers included Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle; John Jarvis, pacific west region director for the National Park Service; Rear Adm. Charles W. Martoglio, director for operations at U.S. Pacific Command; Paul Deprey, superintendent for the National Park Service at the USS Arizona Memorial; Mal Middlesworth, national president of the Pearl Harbor Survivor Association; retired Capt. George Sullivan, board chairman of the USS Arizona Memorial Museum Association; retired Adm. Tom Fargo, national vice chairman of the Pearl Harbor Memorial Fund; retired Rear Adm. Ron Tucker, chairman of the USS Arizona Coordinating Committee of the Pearl Harbor Memorial Fund; and Denny Watts, president and CEO for Watts Constructors, LLC.

Kahu Kamaki Kanahele and Kahu Herbert Kalena Hew Len conducted the traditional Hawaiian blessing during the groundbreaking ceremony.

The new visitor center will include an additional six acres of land, bringing the total land area to approximately 17.4 acres. The new museum and visitor center, at 23,600 square feet, nearly doubles the size of the current museum allowing for a greatly expanded and comprehensive interpretation of the attack on Pearl Harbor and World War II in the Pacific.

Construction of the new visitor center will be done in phases during the next two years enabling the center and tours to the USS Arizona Memorial to remain open throughout the entire construction period. Construction is expected to begin within the next few months with completion scheduled for September 2010. The facility is expected to open officially December 2010.

(Report from the U.S. National Park Service.)

Related: Pearl Harbor Memorial Fund Web site

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