Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Survey of Pearl Harbor Memorials Throughout the U.S.

The 9.11 Memorials seem to have eclipsed Pearl Harbor Memorials, but not quite.

I recently met with my old friends in Kyoto whom I traveled to Death Valley with once while working together in San Diego, California. We learned that we both coincidentally made sentimental journeys back to the U.S. in 2008.

My journey was a two week run in August from Calgary, Canada down to Glacier, Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, covering Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, totaling less than 4,000 kilometers. But theirs was a month long journey of 10,000 kilometers or 6,214 miles. He and his wife crossed the Rockies two separate ways.

He wrote that they enjoyed autumn foliage one way and saw the mountains in early winter attire with some snow scenes on the way back. He visited Yellowstone, like me, then drove east on Interstate 90 (5000 kilometers from coast to coast) to see Niagara Falls, then south on I-75, and back on I-70 to the Rockies. He highly commended the condition of the reconstructed highway.

Then he wrote that he came across Pearl Harbor Memorial signs more than once on his journey, a reminder of the bitter war in the Pacific. The Japanese committed one of the worst conduct of the century. He pointed out Route 75 in particular and sent me the photograph on the right.

Sign on I-75 with my friend Mr. Doi

This photo inspired me to check into and hunt Pearl Harbor Memorial highways in the U.S. Continent. Surprisingly, more designations were announced after the year 2000, as if Americans were re-immortalizing an event that had taken place almost 70 years ago.

Here's my findings:

1. State of Georgia, HR1092, 2/26/96
Whereas, on December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and many innocent and brave civilians and soldiers lost their lives, their families, and their community; and citizens of this state have historically paid homage to those survivors and victims of World War II fighting; it is befitting that the State of Georgia honor and respect the brave men and women who withstood the horrific attack; and the designation of a portion of Interstate Highway 85 as the Pearl Harbor Memorial Highway is an appropriate acknowledgment of the courage of those survivors. Now, therefore, be it resolved by the General Assembly of Georgia that the portion of Interstate Highway 85 running through Troup and Harris Counties be designated as the Pearl Harbor Memorial Highway in recognition and honor of the exemplary way the survivors of the worst attack on American shores faced such a crisis.

2. State of Ohio, Revised Code, Chapter 5533.241,
3/5/04 & HB 70, Sign posting, 10/13/03
The road known as interstate route seventy-five, running in a southerly direction from the city of Toledo in Lucas County, through the counties of Wood, Hancock, Allen, Auglaize, Shelby, Miami, Montgomery, Warren, and Butler to the city of Cincinnati in Hamilton County, shall be known as the "Pearl Harbor Memorial Highway."

3. States of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Florida designate I-10 in portions as Pearl Harbor Memorial Highways.

SCR 8 (Battin) Pearl Harbor Memorial Highway.
Designates the portion of I-10 located in California as the "Pearl Harbor Memorial Highway".

Chaptered 7/2/05. Resolution Chapter 72.
I-10 is the Pearl Harbor Memorial Highway throughout Arizona, except for the portion through downtown Phoenix.

I-10 is the Pearl Harbor Memorial Highway throughout New Mexico.

Florida also designates I-10 covering 340 miles serving the Panhandle and northeast Florida as the Pearl Harbor Memorial Highway.

*I-10 changes memorial names. Michael Jordan describes the frequent change humorously in his blog.

4. State of Michigan
Act 142 of 2001, 10/26/01
The portion of highway I-69 beginning at exit 105 in Shiawasee County and extending east to exit 135 in Genesee County shall be known as the "Pearl Harbor Memorial Highway".

5. State of Missouri
RSMO-Chapter 227.330
Missouri Revised Statutes, 8/28/08
The portion of U.S. Highway 63 located within a county of the third classification without a township form of government and with more than fifteen thousand seven hundred but less than fifteen thousand eight hundred inhabitants shall be designated the "Pearl Harbor Memorial Highway". The department of transportation shall erect and maintain appropriate signs commemorating said portion of U.S. Highway 63 at its discretion.

6. State of Oklahoma
SB 280, 4/15/03
State Highway 77H, from where it intersects with State Highway 9 in Cleveland County, north to where it intersects with Interstate Highway 240 in Oklahoma County, shall be designated as the "Pearl Harbor/USS Oklahoma Memorial Highway".

7. State of Texas
225.026, 9/1/97
Pearl Harbor Memorial Highway Limits - US 290, from IH 10, approx. 18.4 miles south-east of Junction, eastward via Fredericksburg to Johnson City, a distance of approx. 62.1 miles. (Kimble, Gillespie, Blanco Counties)

8. Pearl Harbor Memorial Turnpike in New Jersey
REMEMBERING PEARL HARBOR: On September 24, 1997, the New Jersey State Legislature officially renamed the turnpike spur the "Pearl Harbor Memorial Turnpike Extension." To commemorate the occasion, members of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association of New Jersey, other World War II veterans, representatives of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, and officials from the New Jersey Turnpike Authority dedicated the highway.

9. Pearl Harbor Survivors Memorial Highway
Cal State SR99 was named as per the CA Highways Organization. SR99 is a north (Red Bluff) to south (Wheeler Ridge) state highway, stretching the entire length of the Central Valley.

10. Pearl Harbor Memorial Flyway, 4/28/05
State of Virginia designates Interstate 95 at the Springfield interchange in Fairfax County.

11. Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge l
The Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge, more commonly referred to as the Q Bridge by locals, is a bridge that carries Interstate 95 (Connecticut Turnpike) over the mouth of the Quinnipiac River in New Haven, Connecticut. Designation since 1995. Under extensive reconstruction.

12. Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge 2
This bridge carries Interstate Route 476 (aka "the Blue Route") over the Schuylkill River, in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. Designation in 2005. Under extensive reconstruction.

13. Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge 3
The Naval Academy Bridge (older and outer river bridge retained as the Naval Academy Bridge) in Annapolis was officially renamed the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge in Dec 2006 in honor of the 65th Anniversary of the attack of Pearl Harbor.

14. Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge 4
New York State Assembly, Chapter 225. in 2003
A bridge in the City of Olean, County of Cattaraugus

15. Pearl Harbor Memorial Expressway Bridge
K201 Bridge on the West Shore Expressway near Fresh Kills Main Creek, Staten Island, New York.

16. Pearl Harbor Memorial Park
Inside Huntington Park in Newport, Virginia

I am probably missing several other designations. And I'm sure, quite often, many signs go unnoticed by drivers and even local American residents do not know about the designations. For instance, I didn't notice until recently that the Triborough Bridge I crossed often in New York was designated as the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge. There are others that are slowly and surely being accepted by the public such as the many Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial streets found throughout the nation.

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