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Battleship Missouri Memorial Honors World War Ii Veterans, Reflects On 70 Years Of Peace And Friends


Ceremony Commemorates 70th Anniversary of the End of World War II,
Sept. 2, 1945 – Sept. 2, 2015

Pearl Harbor, HI – (Sept. 2, 2015) – Exactly 70 years after history’s most destructive war concluded on the decks of the USS Missouri, the association charged with its preservation as the Battleship Missouri Memorial held a ceremony this morning to honor the anniversary and the veterans who made it possible.

On Sept. 2, 1945, World War II officially ended with Japan’s formal surrender aboard the USS Missouri while the gigantic battleship was anchored in Tokyo Bay. More than 2,000 Missouri crewmembers were joined by military leaders of the Allied Forces to witness the ceremony, which was heard by radio audiences worldwide.

Fifty-three years later, the now decommissioned USS Missouri was relocated to Pearl Harbor in June 1998 and placed under the care of the USS Missouri Memorial Association. On Jan. 29, 1999, it reopened to the public as the Battleship Missouri Memorial, a historic military attraction unmatched anywhere in the world.

Themed, “The Day that Launched a Better Future,” today’s ceremony was held on the ship’s fantail and attended by more than 700 guests, including 11 former USS Missouri crewmembers who witnessed the surrender ceremony 70 years ago, and 13 other veterans of World War II. Also in attendance was Hawaii’s congressional delegation, Sen. Brian Schatz, Sen. Mazie Hirono, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard and Congressman Mark Takai, along with 15 members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Michael Carr, president and CEO, and Tim Guard, chairman, respectively, of the USS Missouri Memorial Association, set the tone for the ceremony, paying tribute to the veterans who served in World War II, while also celebrating the friendship that America and Japan have enjoyed since the war’s end.

Guard, who delivered the opening address, commented, “This day, September 2nd, is one that should always be remembered for what it represents and what it brought to the world 70 years ago, the end of a terrible conflict, enduring peace and reconciliation between America and Japan.

“We thank the heroes of World War II. Many are here with us today. Many more were laid to their eternal rest in these same waters on December 7, 1941. And so many more heroes fought on distant battlefields and seas around the world to save us from a life of tyranny. All of them are heroes and their memories, spirit and sacrifice will live with us forever.”

Congressman Takai, joined by the other members of Hawaii’s congressional delegation, presented the Association with a message of recognition that concluded with, “It has been 70 years since the morning that delegates from nations around the world stood upon the deck of the USS Missouri and ended World War II. As the ceremony came to a close that Sunday morning, a ray of sunlight broke through clouds along the horizon of Tokyo Bay. This symbol was said to represent a new day for a world ravaged by war. May we always remember this notion and the lives, sacrifice and courage of the individuals who fought so that liberty, freedom and justice would not disappear from our world.”

Adm. Scott Swift, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and the ceremony’s distinguished guest speaker, noted the significance of the commemoration in his remarks. “This is truly a day of reverence. It’s about reflecting on and commemorating the millions of departed and surviving veterans of World War II. It’s about mourning the civilians from all nations whose passing is all that much more poignant in light of their innocence. It’s about our enduring commitment to allies, partners and friends – a commitment to ensuring such tragic losses and sacrifices are not for naught – demonstrated by the constant presence of U.S. forces throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific.

“It’s about upholding the international framework of norms, standards, rules and laws that make our nation great. A binding agreement that formalized the transition from war to peace, the Instrument of Surrender illustrates that framework perfectly. As part of our heritage, it continues to shape our shared interests, values and conduct in international affairs.”

Sen. Brian Schatz delivered the ceremony’s keynote address, highlighting America’s collective resolve that led to the surrender ceremony on Sept. 2, 1945. “It was here in this harbor, nearly 74 years ago, where peace was shattered and America was drawn into one of the most destructive conflicts in all of human history,” said Sen. Schatz.

“They came together from all across America – farmers, factory workers, students, spouses, mothers and fathers – this was the whole United States of America. They left their homes to fight an enemy they did not know, in places they had never heard of. They did not do it for glory. They answered the call simply because they loved their country, they loved their community, and they loved their freedom.”

The 70th anniversary commemoration also featured an exhibit of rare historic artifacts that were part of the surrender ceremony in Tokyo Bay 70 years ago, including the two pens used by Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz to sign the Japanese Instrument of Surrender on behalf of the United States, and a pen used by Gen. Douglas MacArthur to sign as Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers. The pens are on loan from the U.S. Naval Academy Museum, the MacArthur Memorial and the Nanjing Museum in China.

The ceremony was live-streamed and may be viewed on the USS Missouri’s website at  

Battleship Missouri Memorial

Since opening in January 1999, the Battleship Missouri Memorial has attracted more than 6-million visitors from around the world with a fascinating tour experience showcasing the USS Missouri’s unique place in history. Located a mere ship’s length from the USS Arizona Memorial, the Mighty Mo completes a historical visitor experience that begins with the “day of infamy” and sinking of the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and ends with Japan’s formal surrender aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945.

The USS Missouri had an astounding career over five decades and three wars – World War II, the Korean War, and Desert Storm – after which it was decommissioned and donated to the USS Missouri Memorial Association, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The Association operates the Battleship Missouri Memorial as a historic attraction and oversees her care and preservation with the support of visitors, memberships, grants, and donations.

The Battleship Missouri Memorial is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. General admission, which includes choice of an optional tour, is $25 per adult and $13 per child (4-12). Military, kamaaina (local resident) and school group pricing is available. For information or reservations, call (toll-free) 1-877-644-4896 or visit

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Please credit photos to Battleship Missouri Memorial

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Caption: The Hawaii Congressional Delegation presents a Certificate of Special Recognition to Michael Carr (second from left) and Tim Guard (third from left) of the USS Missouri Memorial Association.

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Caption: Former USS Missouri WWII crewmembers Ray Morse (left) and Donald Fosburg attended today's commemoration ceremony. Morse is wearing the same uniform he wore at the Surrender Ceremony 70 years ago, while Fosburg, who turned 89 today, was presented with the American flag as part of today's flag folding ceremony.

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Caption: The USS Missouri Memorial Association commemorated the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II on September 2, 2015 with a ceremony on the battleship's fantail.

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