Monday, January 20, 2020
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Wednesday, November 12, 2014
331 Hawaii Medal of Honor Recipients Remembered from Deck of Battleship Missouri
By News Release @ 1:33 PM :: 2862 Views :: Military


News Release from Battleship Missouri Memorial

Pearl Harbor, HI – (November 11, 2014) – America’s Veterans Day ceremonies came to a close in Pearl Harbor onboard the nation’s last battleship, the retired USS Missouri, in a moving ceremony that concluded as the twilight of day turned into dusk.

The “Mighty Mo” is the only place in Hawaii officially recognized by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as a regional site for the observance of Veterans Day. The Battleship Missouri Memorial’s Veterans Day Sunset Ceremony honored the bravery and service of America’s military veterans, both past and present, and featured a special tribute to the Hawaii-based Armed Forces members who gave their lives while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Near the end of the ceremony, representatives of each Armed Forces branch gently tossed 331 flowers into the hallowed waters of Pearl Harbor, with each flower offered in the memory of the 331 Hawaii Medal of Honor recipients who gave their lives defending our freedom in the Middle East from 2006 to this year.

“We are eternally grateful to all of our Armed Forces veterans for their service to America, and to their families for supporting their loved ones as they bravely put themselves in harm’s way to protect the freedoms we all cherish,” said Michael Carr, President & CEO of the USS Missouri Memorial Association. “It was an especially poignant moment honoring our youngest generation of veterans who once called Hawaii home and made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country in combat over the past decade.”

Providing the keynote address for today’s ceremony was Rear Admiral Richard “Rick” L. Williams, Commander of Navy Region Hawaii and the Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific. RDML Williams oversees the Navy’s largest and most strategic island base in the Pacific.

Along with recognizing the reverence of Veterans Day to all Armed Forces members, RDML Williams noted the significance of the month of November in America’s historic battles overseas. He cited the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal during World War II in November 1942, the Battle of Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War in November 1950, the Battle of Ia Drang during the Vietnam War in November 1965, the battle of Mazar-e-Sharif in Afghanistan in November 2001, and the Second Battle of Fallujah in Iraq in November 2004.

Also offering remarks were Vice Admiral Robert K.U. Kihune, USN (Ret.), former Chairman of the Board for the USS Missouri Memorial Association from 2002-2014, and Mark Marble, Military Adaptive Sports Coordinator for Schofield Barracks and founder of AccesSurf Hawaii, which provides modified surfing instruction and therapeutic water-based programs to people with disabilities.

The ceremony also featured music by the U.S. Army 25th Infantry Division Band and concluded with a flyover by a vintage World War II airplane, provided courtesy of Pacific Warbirds. The 1944 U.S. Navy SNJ, manufactured by North American Aircraft, was piloted by Bruce Mayes, retired United States Coast Guard Commander and president of Pacific Warbirds.

Among the special guests attending today’s ceremony was Ed Vezey, a World War II veteran who was stationed aboard the USS Oklahoma (BB-37) when Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941. The USS Oklahoma was in the same location on Battleship Row where the retired USS Missouri, now known as the Battleship Missouri Memorial, is now berthed at Pier Foxtrot-5. The USS Oklahoma capsized during the attack and 429 crewmembers died. Mr. Vezey is one of the last few surviving crewmembers and he flew from his home in Moore, Oklahoma to attend the ceremony.

Another special guest attending today’s ceremony was John O’Neill, a retired World War II veteran from Wallingford, Connecticut. Mr. O’Neill was stationed aboard the USS Nicholas (DD-449), which transported 87 high-ranking dignitaries to the USS Missouri to take part in the ceremony of Imperial Japan’s formal surrender that ended World War II on September 2, 1945. He served as a “side boy” during the ceremony, saluting dignitaries as they passed.

Before today’s ceremony, Mr. O'Neill presented the USS Missouri Memorial Association with a special flag and plaque from the USS Nicholas, which was decommissioned in 1970. He felt the Battleship Missouri Memorial was the most appropriate permanent home for these treasured items.

As a gesture of appreciation for donating the flag and plaque, O'Neill was presented with a U.S. flag that was ceremoniously folded by the Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam Honors and Ceremonies Detachment.

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 Imperial Japan’s 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, kama‘aina (local resident) and school group pricing is available. For information or reservations, call (toll-free) 1-877-644-4896 or visit

# # #


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940


ACA Signups Hawaii



Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii



Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust 

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube


Hump Day Report

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

Judgepedia Hawaii

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes


Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii


National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Salvage The Rail

Save the Plastic Bag

School Choice in Hawaii

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii