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 News Article

Winnefeld Pays Tribute to Crewmen Killed in Pearl Harbor Attack

By Lisa Ferdinando
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii, March 9, 2015 – The vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff yesterday paid tribute to the USS Arizona’s 1,177 crewmen who were killed here during the Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese attack that brought the United States into World War II.

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Navy Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr., the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, releases rose petals as a tribute during his visit to the USS Arizona memorial on Joint Base Pearl Harbor–Hickam, Hawaii, March 8, 2015. Pearl Harbor is one stop on Winnefeld's USO tour to thank military members serving worldwide who keep the nation safe. Joining Winnefeld on the tour are singer Phillips Phillips, actor Dennis Haysbert, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, Miss America Kira Kazantsev, Indianapolis Colts tight end Dwayne Allen, Pittsburgh Steelers guard David DeCastro, Jason "Wee Man" Acuna, singer Diana DeGarmo, Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano and singer Ace Young. DoD photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel Hinton
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Navy Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr. and other visitors, holding handfuls of red rose petals, paused quietly at the Arizona memorial. The visitors then gently released the petals into the blue water and watched in silence as they floated away.

"It is my honor to be here today to remember the service and sacrifice of the men who gave their lives in service on a tragic day that changed the course of history," Winnefeld said.

The Arizona memorial is constructed above the submerged vessel, which is believed to contain the remains of 938 people, explained Amanda Thompson, military liaison for the National Park Service at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument.

‘Tears of the Arizona’

The oil that continues to leak out of the vessel is called the "tears of the Arizona," she said.

"That oil has been leaking for 73 or so years and will continue to leak for another 80 to 100 years," she said. "The legend says that when the last Pearl Harbor survivor passes away, those tears will stop."

As the handful of the attack’s survivors pass on, they will never be forgotten, Thompson said.

"We will continue the story, and their memory will always live on here," she said.

Winnefeld visited the memorial as he and a group of celebrities rounded out a weeklong USO tour they spent circumnavigating the globe, bringing laughs, music and fun to deployed service members.

 

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Biographies:
Navy Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr.

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Click photo for screen-resolution imageRose petals released by visitors float on the water during a tribute at the USS Arizona memorial on Joint Base Pearl Harbor–Hickam, Hawaii, March 8, 2015. Navy Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr., the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, led the USO tour troupe to Pearl Harbor as part of wider tour to thank military members serving worldwide who keep the nation safe. DoD photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel Hinton  
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageThe USS Arizona memorial on Joint Base Pearl Harbor–Hickam, Hawaii, March 8, 2015. Navy Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr., the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, led the USO tour troupe to Pearl Harbor as part of wider tour to thank military members serving worldwide who keep the nation safe. DoD photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel Hinton  
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