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Dock repairs will keep Pearl Harbor survivors away from memorial on Dec. 7

The battleship USS Arizona (BB 39) memorial, as seen from the air in July, 2018.

ARTHURGWAIN L. MARQUEZ/U.S. NAVY

By THE HONOLULU STAR-ADVERTISER Published: October 30, 2018

HONOLULU (Tribune News Service) — Survivors of the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor will not be allowed to visit the USS Arizona Memorial this Dec. 7 due to its dock repair project.

“Not being able to welcome survivors and their families on the USS Arizona Memorial this coming December 7th is heartbreaking,” Jacqueline Ashwell, superintendent of WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument, who oversees the memorial, said in a written statement. “After exploring multiple options, we are working with our friends in the U.S. Navy to hold an intimate ceremony aboard a vessel adjacent to the USS Arizona.”

The National Park Service announced Monday that the Arizona Memorial’s dock repair will not be completed until March, when visitor access will resume.

Roughly 1.9 million people annually visit the popular tourist attraction. Docking at the memorial was a part of the Pearl Harbor boat tours.

The Park Services suspended access May 6 when minor damage to the exterior became visible at the main entry point. It resumed boat transportation shortly afterward after repairs to the loading ramp were completed.

But visitor access was again suspended shortly after the resumption when the cause of the damage was determined to be a failure of the anchoring system for the dock adjacent to the memorial.

That put pressure on the loading bridge, which allows visitors to cross from the boat dock to the memorial.

The Dec. 7 commemoration ceremony also will include a land-based ceremony at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center.

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