Pearl Harbor Artifact Coming to Veterans Memorial Museum

Written by Estero Bay News

December 1, 2022

On the eve of National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, the Central Coast Veterans Memorial Museum will unveil its newly revised WWII Pearl Harbor display with a noteworthy addition to their artifact collection, a piece of the historic USS Arizona, received from the Pearl Harbor National Memorial in Hawaii.

The Veterans Museum has prepared a 45-minute presentation to share the history through photos and recorded interviews with historians and veterans about the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941, the sinking of the USS Arizona and the significance of this artifact. “Receiving a piece of the USS Arizona to display in our museum, is really an honor,”said Bart Topham, Museum president and director. “This small, but poignant artifact from the sunken vessel symbolizes a reminder to all Americans of the lives lost during the attack on Pearl Harbor, the event which led the United States to declare war on Japan and enter World War II.“

The USS Arizona still sits where it first sank in Pearl Harbor after being attacked by the Japanese, forty feet below the ocean’s surface, serving as both a memorial and the final resting place for the 1,177 Navy and Marine servicemembers entombed within the ship’s hull. Included in the Veterans Museum display are photos and items honoring veterans from the Pearl Harbor attack and WWII. The artifact from the USS Arizona will now remain on permanent display in the Veterans Museum, located in San Luis Obispo. 

This history presentation and unveiling takes place Wednesday, December 7 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., with doors open at 4:30 for Museum tours at 801 Grand Avenue, San Luis Obispo, suite 102.  Onsite parking and admission is free, but an RSVP by December 5th required to attend due very limited seating available. RSVP at https://form.jotform.com/223061190688154. Make sure your email and the number in your party are included. For more information about the event, send an email ccvmm.programs@gmail.com. 

Beyond their permanent displays open to the public, Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Central Coast Veterans Memorial Museum provides volunteer opportunities and history internships to support the Museum’s many programs and services. These include the Veterans History Project, with almost 600 interviews recorded with Central Coast veterans, educational outreach with schools and clubs, a speaker series, a virtual museum program, and a monthly “Central Coast Veteran Spotlight” series.  The Veterans Museum also hosts two annual events for veterans and community members in San Luis Obispo on Veterans Day (November) and Memorial Day (May), with new temporary exhibits at each event. Get involved with the Veterans Museum as a volunteer, 2023 member or business sponsor, make a tax-deductible donation, or donate historical items and photos to their collection. Learn more at www.vetmuseum.org.

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