On the day the United States of America pays tribute to those who died in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the USS Arizona memorial will recognize the man who was the ship’s oldest surviving officer.
Included in the 74th anniversary of National Pearl Harbor Remembrance day, the ashes of retired Navy Lt. Cmdr. Joe Langdell, who passed away at age 100 in February, will be laid to rest in the ship with full military burial honors.
An ensign at the time, Langdell was not on board when the attack occurred at the naval base in Hawaii but hurried back to assist in rescuing soldiers and gather the remains of his fallen shipmates.
During the surprise morning attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese, the USS Arizona battleship was bombed and sunk. The attack on Pearl Harbor drew the United States into World War II.
The remains of a lot of the 1,177 US military personnel who perished aboard the Arizona remain inside the submerged wreck. It was the largest loss of life ever in an attack on a United States warship, according to the National Park Service.
In 1962 the memorial was dedicated.
As of 2013, about 2,000 to 2,500 Pearl Harbor survivors were believed to still be alive, according to the chief of interpretation for the USS Arizona Memorial, Eileen Martinez.
On May 27, the USS Arizona Memorial site was closed for nine days following the accidental damage of a dock at the memorial that sits atop the sunken ship. The National Park Service controls the memorial, part of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument.
The accident that closed the site to visitors happened when tugboats were helping an 894-foot-long hospital ship, the USNS Mercy, navigate the harbor, according to the US Navy Region Hawaii.
Tours at the Pearl Harbor memorial are from 7:30am to 3pm and are scheduled every 15 minutes. Each day, there are 4,350 tickets available. Some are released the day before, some can be booked up to two months in advance, and some are kept for the day of the tours.