Press Releases

Battleship Missouri Memorial Honors Past Heroes While Looking to the Future at 76th Anniversary of the End of World War II Ceremony

Pearl Harbor, HI – (September 2, 2021) – The Battleship Missouri Memorial today honored the 76th anniversary of the end of World War II with a commemoration ceremony held on the same decks where the world’s most destructive war officially came to an end. Imperial Japan signed the Instrument of Surrender aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945.

Due to restrictions on public gatherings to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the ceremony was conducted virtually on the fantail of the gigantic battleship without any guests in attendance. The ceremony featured elements of a traditional End of World War II anniversary commemoration aboard the Mighty Mo, featuring a joint Armed Forces color guard, music by the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band – Harbor Brass Quintet, and a rifle salute, playing of Taps, and performance of Amazing Grace to honor all service members who paid the ultimate sacrifice in defense of America’s freedoms.

“As we reflect on the significance of commemorating the end of World War II and the peace that followed, we are also committed to doing what’s right for our future generations as captured in today's program theme – Looking to the Future,” said Michael Carr, President and CEO of the USS Missouri Memorial Association, caretaker of the Battleship Missouri Memorial. “To preserve and perpetuate the USS Missouri’s legacy for decades to come, we have completed several vital restoration projects and will continue to undertake major improvements that will celebrate what the Mighty Mo and our Armed Forces represent to the people of our nation.”

While honoring the heroes who saved the world from tyranny and fascism, this year’s ceremony also acknowledged the USS Missouri’s remarkable history and the caretaking of its future. Eighty years ago, the USS Missouri’s keel was laid at the Brooklyn Naval Shipyard on January 6, 1941. Looking forward, the Battleship Missouri Memorial will continue its mission to preserve and share the Mighty Mo’s story and place in history while honoring all those who have served in the Armed Forces and being a symbol of peace for the world.

The keynote address was provided by Congressman Ed Case, the U.S. Representative for Hawai‘i’s First Congressional District. Congressman Case noted, “We cannot start today without reflecting that another war, our longest one, has just ended. It is hard to find the right words at this difficult time for our country and world. As we reflect on a war in which 800,000 of our own served, 20,000 injured, and 2,461 died including 13 just a week ago. And maybe its best that we try not to answer all the questions now. Maybe its best that for now, we honor our fallen, care for our wounded, say a simple thanks again to those who served. Try to be better people and a better country. Try to find the right path forward in a world that is more complicated, more imperialist than yesterday.”

Admiral Samuel Paparo became the 64th Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet on May 5, 2021. Today, he served as a distinguished guest speaker and shared words of gratitude for the historical legacy that forever changed the world. “As commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, it is so humbling to serve in the wake of Fleet Admiral Nimitz and all of the giants that succeeded him, and all of the giants on whose shoulders we stand that served alongside him,” said Admiral Paparo. “Admiral Nimitz made the very hard decision to send courageous Americans to remote and to difficult places to fight. To our veterans of the second World War and indeed to all veterans everywhere, we thank you for your unselfish and your heroic service more than seven and a half decades ago.”

Daniel Martinez is the chief historian for the Pearl Harbor National Memorial, a title he has carried for the past 32 years. As a distinguished guest speaker for today’s ceremony, Martinez shared a story about a successful mission to get an old American flag 9,000 miles to its destination by dedicated Navy officer Lieutenant John Bremyer. In the end, the flag was delivered to the USS Missouri just three days before the instrument of surrender was signed in Tokyo Bay. Today, a replica of the old American flag is displayed on the Mighty Mo’s Surrender deck.

About the Battleship Missouri Memorial

Since opening in January 1999, the Battleship Missouri Memorial has attracted more than 9-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.

Safety is our top priority. The Battleship Missouri Memorial is taking additional steps to assure guests will have a safe and healthy experience touring the Mighty Mo. We respectfully ask all visitors to abide by state of Hawaii safety guidelines while on site.

The Battleship Missouri Memorial is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Military, kama‘āina (local resident) and school group pricing is available. For information or reservations, call (808) 455-1600 or visit

For information or reservations, call (toll-free) 1-877-644-4896 or visit

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Link to Livestream: The Battleship Missouri Memorial livestreamed this event on its Facebook page.

Link to Photos: Please credit photos to the Battleship Missouri Memorial.

Media Contact:

Shere’e Quitevis

(808) 741-1668

Jaclyn Hawse

(808) 455-1600 x246