Press Releases

Battleship Missouri Memorial Hosts Veterans Day Virtual Sunrise Ceremony

Congressman-elect Kai Kahele Delivers the Keynote Address

Pearl Harbor, HI – (November 11, 2020) – The Battleship Missouri Memorial today honored all veterans, both past and present, who served with valor to protect America’s freedoms with a Veterans Day Sunrise Ceremony onboard the iconic ship where World War II ended 75 years ago.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings and to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the ceremony was conducted without guests in attendance.

The ceremony paid a special tribute to America’s World War II Veterans – the Greatest Generation – in honor of the more than 16 million men and women who served during the war and the more than 400,000 heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice to keep America free. World War II officially came to an end on September 2, 1945, when Imperial Japan surrendered to the Allied Forces on the decks of the USS Missouri while anchored in Tokyo Bay.

“We offer our eternal gratitude to all of our veterans who have served, sacrificed, and fought on battlefields around the world. We especially dedicate this year’s Veterans Day ceremony to the memory, honor and bravery of our World War II veterans,” said Michael Carr, President and CEO of the USS Missouri Memorial Association, caretaker of the Battleship Missouri Memorial. “We will always remember the young men and women who saved the world from tyranny and fascism and then returned home to build their lives and the foundation of modern America in communities, towns, and cities throughout our great nation.”

The virtual ceremony featured the elements of a traditional Veterans Day tribute onboard the main deck of the Mighty Mo, including a joint Armed Forces color guard, music by the U.S. Army 25th Infantry Division Band Paradise Brass, and, in remembrance of those veterans who gave their lives fighting for America, a rifle salute, the playing of Taps, and a performance of Amazing Grace on bagpipes.

The highlight of the ceremony was the keynote address by Congressman-elect Kai Kahele, who will represent Hawaii in the U.S. House of Representatives. In his remarks, Congressman-elect Kahele noted, “Our country, over its 240-year history, has weathered many tests of courage but none so great as our sacrifices made in the second World War. It began right here in the Hawaiian Islands on that day of infamy when the United States suffered a devastating attack at Pearl Harbor and other military installations on Oahu.

Today, we are prompted by history to remember the lessons taught by these brave men and women; values of American service, leadership, sacrifice and perseverance.”

Congressman-elect Kahele is a decorated 18-year veteran who currently serves as a Lieutenant Colonel in the 201st Air Operations Group of the Hawai‘i Air National Guard, U.S. Air Force. He has flown numerous combat missions over Iraq and Afghanistan during the past 15 years and earned several distinguished awards, including the Meritorious Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

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.

Currently, the Battleship Missouri Memorial is closed. Safety continues to be our top priority. The Battleship Missouri Memorial has taken additional steps to assure guests will have a safe and healthy experience while touring the Mighty Mo upon reopening.

For information, call (808) 455-1600 or visit

Please credit video / photos to the Battleship Missouri Memorial.

Link to video and photos:

Link to Congressman-elect Kai Kahele (video courtesy: Congressman-elect Kai Kahele):

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Media Contact:

Shere’e Quitevis

(808) 741-1668

Jaclyn Hawse

(808) 455-1600 ext. 246