Franklin Roosevelt said these memorable words: “Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”
Just over 2,400 Americans were killed at Pearl Harbor; 1,177 of them were crewmen on the Battleship Arizona. The eight battleships in port were the primary target, and all were seriously damaged or sunk. All but the Arizona and the Oklahoma were eventually repaired and returned to service, however.
In 1953, the Admiral in charge of the Pacific fleet ordered that a flagpole be erected above the sunken remains of the Arizona, and five years later President Eisenhower approved the creation of the Memorial. It was dedicated in 1962, and today hosts more than a million visitors each year.
Even today, a small amount of oil continues to rise from the wreckage to the surface of the water. Some call this “the tears of the Arizona.”