Marines immortalized in concrete, bronze
By Cpl. Cristina N. Porras
| | September 17, 2010
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii --
Sitting in a landscaped waterfront with the USS Arizona and USS Missouri memorials in the background is a perfectly-shaped seven-ton, seven-sided mix of concrete and bronze honoring Marines who gave their lives during the attack on Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941.
In 2005, the memorial was first placed and dedicated with a ceremony. Due to reconstruction of the USS Arizona Memorial Museum and Visitor Center, it was removed for safekeeping. Now that that construction is near completion, Naval Facilities Engineering Command workers placed the memorial in its intended location Sept. 14.
“Some people don’t know there are 73 Marines still entombed in the Arizona along with more than 1,000 sailors,” said Patrick Brent, a former Marine who helped make the Marine memorial possible through his dedication to the project. “For many years Marines wondered why there was nothing honoring those lives. Those Marines helped make it a reality. It’s great to see it being put in place for everyone to see again.”
Inside the solid concrete lies a piece of steam pipe from the hull of the USS Arizona. Each of the seven faces contains a bronze plaque, in total listing the names of the 73 Marines who died aboard the battleship. Among those men honored is Lt. Col. Daniel R. Fox, the most highly-decorated American killed aboard the battleship when it was attacked.
Fox was a recipient of the French Croix de Guerre, the Navy Cross and the Army’s Distinguished Service Cross for his actions at St. Tierre, France, during World War I. He served as the Fleet Marine Officer aboard the Arizona during the attack.
“During the attack [on Pearl Harbor], it wasn’t just the Navy that was affected. Every service was affected during the attack on our great nation,” said Sgt. Maj. Jason Patrick, Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe sergeant major. “We Marines pride ourselves on history and this is a part of it. These men deserve to be remembered and honored for their sacrifice.”
The memorial will be rededicated on the 69th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack Dec. 7.