HONOLULU -- After seeing action that spanned from World War II to
the Gulf War, the battleship USS Missouri arrived at its final
home, Pearl Harbor.
The "Mighty Mo" docked at Ford Island, 1,000 feet from the USS
Arizona Memorial, with ceremonies held at nearby Hickam Air Force
Base. "Mo Mania" began the previous day as the 887-foot long
warship, decommissioned in 1992, was towed several miles off the
Thousands climbed Diamond Head for the
best views, while traffic gridlocked at its base. Celebrations at
Magic Island near Waikiki, with military bands and food booths,
ended with fireworks.
In late May, the ship began its final journey, towed by tug from
Bremerton, Wash., the culmination of years of effort by the state
and USS Missouri Memorial Association, a Hawaii nonprofit
In 1996, Honolulu was chosen by the Navy as the ship's final
home, beating bids by San Francisco, Long Beach, Calif., and
Bremerton. Honolulu had a compelling argument: the Arizona and
Missouri represented the Pacific War's beginning and end -- the
Pearl Harbor attack and the signing of Japanese surrender aboard
the Missouri in Tokyo Bay on Sept. 2, 1945.
The ship will be open to the public in January, with exhibits in
place. Visitors will be shuttled from a site adjacent the Arizona
Memorial Visitor Center to Ford Island, via a bridge that opened
earlier this year.
In three years, the vessel will be moved to its permanent site,
at Ford Island's seaward end, almost one mile from the Arizona. It
probably will be five years before all the ship's proposed public
areas are opened.
The association has a fundraising effort under way that it hopes
will raise $25 million for the project.
For further information, visit the association's Web site at www.ussmissouri.com.