December 7, 2016 was a momentous occasion, it was the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, a day that changed the history of America and the world, This act of aggression plunged the US into World War after 2,300 servicemen and civilians were killed in the attack by the Empire of Japan,
At the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum in North Little Rock, a commemorative event was held to reflect the attack. Held on December 7, 2016, while on a press trip to North Little Rock, I was able to attend this historic commemoration.
The Maritime Museum is home to two significant vessels, the first is the Hoga, a tug boat that was present at Pearl Harbor during the attack. The Hoga has been designated a National Historic Landmark. This vessel within ten minutes of the bombing of Pearl Harbor rescued sailors in the water, fought fires, and pushed ships out of harms way. It is famous for pushing the USS Nevada to safety and keeping the harbor open when she would have blocked the channel after being hit. The Hoga also pushed a repair ship the USS Vestal away from the burning Arizona and others.
The other vessel at the Maritime museum is the submarine the USS Razorback. This vessel saw a lot of action and was present in Tokyo Bay when the war officially ended on September 2, 1945. The USS Razorback along with 10 other submarines had the distinction of being present at the surrender.
During World War II, 407316 military personnel lost their lives. At the ceremony,the Governor of Arkansas, Asa Hutchinson and Joe Smith, the Mayor of North Little Rock and other dignitaries reminded the public of the importance of the attack on Pearl Harbor and the sacrifice our brave soldiers and civilians made for their country.
Many took the opportunities to tour the USS Razorback and observe the Hoga afterwards. The Arkansas Inland Marine Museum is open to the public and is located in Riverside Park. Log onto aimmuseum.org for more information.
If you didn’t take the time on December 7th to think back on this 75th anniversary, do it now, take a minute to reflect, it is our history and we need to remember.