PACIFIC OCEAN -- The officers and crew of USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) today took time out of a busy Combat Systems Ship Qualification Trial Dec. 7 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the attack on the American naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
The attack, which devastated the United States Pacific Fleet and killed more than 2,000 servicemen and women, marked the United States’ entrance into World War II.
Assembled on the ship’s flight deck, the crew heard a recounting of the attack by Senior Chief Petty Officer Edinito Purog followed by remarks from the ship’s commanding officer, Cmdr. Ted Essenfeld.
“Today our ship stands not as a reminder of defeat, but of courage under fire. We as a crew are a tribute to the fighting spirit of those Sailors who served before us, many of whom gave their lives in defense of our great nation on that day of infamy,” said Essenfeld.
Following the remarks, Essenfeld and the ship’s youngest Sailor, Seaman Brooke Kelly, placed a wreath in the Pacific Ocean in remembrance of those who lost their lives at Pearl Harbor and throughout the Pacific Theater of World War II. This wreath laying ceremony, conducted at sea off Point Mugu, California, was timed to coincide with similar ceremonies in Pearl Harbor and San Diego.
Pearl Harbor is a Harper’s Ferry-class Dock Landing Ship, built to carry United States Marines and their equipment anywhere in the world, land them on the beach, and sustain them while they are ashore. Commissioned in San Diego on May 30, 1998, she is the first ship of the U.S. Navy to bear the name P. This was the result of dedicated lobbying by veterans of the attack, many of whom are still closely associated with the ship today.