All sites have resumed their normal operating hours. The Battleship Missouri Memorial is open Daily from 8 am to 4 pm. The Pacific Fleet Submarine Museum is open Daily from 7 am to 5 pm. The Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum is open Daily from 9 am to 5 pm.

9/ll Where were you, that early Tuesday morning, 18 years ago, September 11, 2001?

by Nov 30, 2019

If you were in Hawaii, you remember those early morning phone calls from friends or family, telling you to wake up, to turn on the TV, to watch, as that unspeakably tragic event unfolded before our eyes.

We hesitated to go to work, to school, to do what we would normally do, as we stared, glued to the evolving images, waiting for yet another tragedy to be added, not knowing whether, or not, the events we were witnessing were simply the beginning of something far, far worse.

Our annual USS Missouri crewmember reunion had ended the day before, in Buffalo, New York. We’d said our farewells and gone our separate ways. Back home, early Tuesday morning, one of our contractors called, saying: “You’d better turn on your TV.”

Since then, a new generation has been born, raised and now grown to adulthood. Among them are those now of age to serve, to go to war, to sacrifice, in the complicated wake of that horrific event.

There were comparisons being made then, between the attacks on the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon, with the December 7th attack on Pearl Harbor.

It must have felt much the same for those waking up on that Sunday morning in Honolulu in 1941, as it did for those in Manhattan 60 years later; seeing the smoke rise, feeling the shock, the uncertainty, the fear, the anger.

A year and a day after 9/11, I was walking along the Brooklyn waterfront, looking across the East River at the Manhattan skyline, at the absence of the Twin Towers. There were others also walking, talking softly or not at all, simply standing, staring across the water, remembering.

A black wrought iron fence bordered a segment of the path. I noticed a single wilting rose, and other efforts to honor their memory, those 2,753 people who initially died in the Manhattan attack.

In the aftermath of the attack, a 30-foot American flag, destroyed during collapse of the twin towers, was discovered among the wreckage.

The tattered flag began a historic nationwide journey in 2010, in anticipation of the 10th anniversary commemoration of the 9/11 attack. The purpose of the journey, to every State in the Union, was to allow communities all across the country to add a stitch for repair of the national flag.

The New York Says Thank You (NYSTY) foundation, who organized the journey, estimates “30,000 wounded warriors, military veterans, first responders, educators, schoolchildren, 9/11 family members, and everyday service heroes helped to stitch The National 9/11 Flag back together by the 10th Anniversary of the September 11 attacks. “

On December 7, 2010, aboard Battleship Missouri in Pearl Harbor, New York City firefighters and others representing the NYSTY foundation, gathered on the fantail before the National 9/11 Flag.

They began arriving, singling and in groups, those who had pledged their willingness to serve, to wear the uniform of our nation’s armed forces in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

In pairs they stepped before the displayed flag, one officer representing a unit or command, and the other raising their right hand to take the oath, again, before the flag that symbolized their original motivation to enlist, the flag that continues to reflect the source of their commitment to serve.

The reenlistments continued for most of the day.

Among all of the events that we have witnessed aboard Battleship Missouri since she arrived in Pearl Harbor more than twenty years ago, that day’s event remains especially meaningful, as we once again remember the tragic morning of September 11, 2001.