Each December 7 the USS KIDD Veterans Museum commemorates the anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The observance is held aboard the USS KIDD beginning at 11:55 a.m. – at the exact moment when the uncoded message “Air Raid on Pearl Harbor. This is Not Drill” was sent at 7:55 a.m. in Hawaii in 1941. This event is free and open to the public.
The event commemorates the 1941 Japanese surprise attack on the U.S. naval base in Hawaii in which over 2,400 Americans were killed. Among those lost were Rear Admiral Isaac C. Kidd, Sr., after whom the USS KIDD is named, and 45 native sons of Louisiana. “Pearl Harbor echoes into the present day,” said Tim NesSmith, USS KIDD Educational Outreach Coordinator. “The current situation with North Korea is a perfect example what with economic sanctions, a foreign state seeking to catch up to larger military powers, the political rhetoric, and escalating tensions. There are differences, but the similarities are easy to see.”
Immediately following the Pearl Harbor Day ceremony, there is a second remembrance ceremony on the museum grounds for an event that happened locally. The Coast Guard buoy tender USCGC WHITE ALDER was lost in a collision on the Mississippi River near White Castle on December 7, 1968. Members of the USCG Marine Safety Unit (MSU) Baton Rouge honor the 17 crewmen that went down with their ship. “Forty-nine years after the sinking of the WHITE ALDER, we continue to honor the legacies of the 17 men who lost their lives as well as the three sailors who barely escaped from that tragic collision on the Mississippi River,” said Lieutenant Commander Matthew Meskun, USCG, Commanding Officer of MSU Baton Rouge. “These men gave everything in service to their country; and for that, we as a Nation and as a Coast Guard, are eternally grateful.” Like the crew of the ARIZONA in 1941, the WHITE ALDER’s crew was entombed aboard their ship on the river’s bottom in 1968. The manner of the buoy tender’s sinking-through collision-bears similarities to the collisions of two Navy vessels earlier this year resulting in the loss of 17 sailors and the evaluation and revision of day-to-day operational procedures.