The USS Arizona Memorial is one of the country’s most unique and special national parks. Aside from the legacy of the Arizona’s story, the memorial is the only National Monument where survivors are additionally interred. Here is a bit about yesterday’s special ceremony.
An Arizona survivor’s final wish
Glen Lane was one of the very few remaining Arizona survivors. His passing in December was as hard as any family member passing, but his ceremony at the USS Arizona Memorial yesterday was really something special. About 20 of Glen’s family members made their way to Pearl Harbor where Navy divers interred his ashes in one of the Arizona’s gun turrets. A color guard was present and Lane was honored with a 21-gun salute.
Continuing his service in the Navy for 30 years, Lane retired in Washington, but it was always his dream to return to his shipmates. His final wish became a reality yesterday.
An account from an infamous date
Lane was stationed aboard the USS Arizona as a seaplane radio operator when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. He was blown overboard during the explosion of the forward magazine. A swim to Ford Island seemed too far with his injuries, so he swam to the nearby USS Nevada instead. This did not turn out to be a safe idea as the Nevada was also attacked by Japanese planes.
In fact, he is possibly the only sailor who was aboard two different battleships attacked on that tragic day. After swimming over to the USS Nevada, it was struck by at least 6 bombs and 1 torpedo during the attack. The Nevada was ground off Ford Island and was later repaired and served in the Pacific Theater.
The remaining few
According to the National Parks Service only 13 Arizona survivors remain today, and another one has expressed his wishes to be reunited with his shipmates after his passing. Often present to sign autographs and share their stories, a visit to the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center is one of the rare ways to meet survivors from the attack.