State Sen. Jim Reynolds announced a new permanent exhibit about the U.S.S. Oklahoma will be dedicated on December 7, 2004 at the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial Museum in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Oklahoma City Republican has worked on various projects with survivors and family members of those who served on the U.S.S. Oklahoma.
“During these past few years it has been my great honor to get to know these American heroes. This exhibit is important because it will help make sure their story is told but we’re still working on securing an appropriate memorial site for these brave men and for their brothers who did not survive the attack on Pearl Harbor,” Reynolds said.
The U.S.S. Oklahoma was one of three large battleships that never sailed again after that day. It sustained the second largest loss of life, with 429 men killed. Of those three battleships, only the U.S.S. Oklahoma does not have a permanent memorial at Pearl Harbor.
“But this exhibit is an important step. We wanted to let people know about it so if they wanted to attend the dedication they would have time to make plans,” Reynolds said.
The display will include two panels, including one depicting the U.S.S. Oklahoma from the time of its Christening in 1917 through World War I and the years leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor. The second panel will depict what happened to the ship on December 7, 1941.
“One thing in our favor now is that Oklahoma’s Congressional delegation is aware of the situation and of our efforts to help these survivors. Sen. Jim Inhofe and Rep. Tom Cole have been especially supportive and we’re very grateful for their help. It has made a huge difference,” Reynolds said.
“But we still need Oklahomans and Americans from across the nation to get involved. The youngest of the 149 remaining survivors has now turned 80—that means time is critical. I think it would be shameful if this country failed to erect a permanent memorial in their lifetime.”