State Sen. Jim Reynolds will be on hand next week when a new permanent exhibit about the U.S.S. Oklahoma is dedicated at the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial Museum in Honolulu, Hawaii. The unveiling will be on December 6, 2004, the eve of the 63rd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
“About a million and a half people visit the museum every year. They know all about the Arizona, but there are too many people who don’t know that the U.S.S. Oklahoma sustained the second largest loss of life, with 429 men killed. This exhibit will finally help tell their story,” 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.
For the past several years Sen. Reynolds, R-OKC, has been working with survivors of the U.S.S. Oklahoma to create a permanent memorial for the ship and its crew. In 2003 he passed legislation to help bring attention to their place in history by renaming a section of State Highway 77H in Cleveland County as the “Pearl Harbor/USS Oklahoma Memorial Highway.”
“Working with these great American heroes has been an honor. We’ll continue to work to help make the permanent memorial a reality. In the meantime, I’m very glad their story will be told through this new exhibition,” Reynolds said.