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 Home > News & Policies > May 2008

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 29, 2008

Memorandum for the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of the Interior

SUBJECT: Potential Pearl Harbor National Monument

Pearl Harbor is well known as the site of Imperial Japan's attack on December 7, 1941. Its historical significance, however, both preceded the Japanese attack and spanned World War II, during which it served as the central base for our Pacific naval forces. While the USS Arizona Memorial serves as the final resting place for many of that battleship's brave crew members who lost their lives on December 7, 1941, other objects of historic and scientific interest in the area of Pearl Harbor and other sites in the Pacific remain outside this Memorial.

I have been advised that there are objects of historic and scientific interest at Pearl Harbor, including on Ford Island, and at other sites across the Pacific that may be appropriate for recognition and possibly protection through the designation of a National Monument under the Antiquities Act of 1906 (16 U.S.C. 431). These objects of historical and scientific interest may tell the broader story of the war, the sacrifices made by America and its allies, and the heroism and determination that laid the groundwork for victory in the Pacific and triumph in World War II.

Accordingly, please provide to me your assessment, with relevant supporting information, of the advisability of providing additional recognition or protection to historic landmarks, historic sites, or other objects of historic or scientific interest at Pearl Harbor and other sites associated with the war in the Pacific and America's ultimate victory in the Pacific theater during World War II, through designation and management as part of a National Monument. Because much of the Pearl Harbor area lies within an active military base, and other World War II historic resources lie within areas of the Pacific that are of strategic importance to the United States, please consider in your assessment that any proposed actions should not limit the Department of Defense from carrying out the mission of the various branches of the military stationed or operating anywhere within the Pacific.


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