USS Arizona Survivor Interred Aboard Ship [VIDEO]

USS Arizona Survivor Interred Aboard Ship [VIDEO]

USS Arizona Survivor Interred Aboard Ship [VIDEO]

There’s a reason Shakespeare’s quote from Henry V has lived on. It’s because every man or woman who has ever fought in combat instantly understands the meaning.

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition

There is a camaraderie born of battle that no civilian can ever fully understand. And nowhere is that more highlighted when a survivor of the USS Arizona is laid to rest at the memorial in Pearl Harbor.

Information plaque onboard the USS Arizona Memorial, describing the interment of survivors. (photo taken by author, July 2016)

Raymond Haerry was interred on the ship in a ceremony that his granddaughter says was solemn and beautiful.

Haerry was 19 years old when bombs started falling on his battleship on Dec. 7, 1941. He never returned to Pearl Harbor while he lived because the memories were too painful. As he neared the end of his life, he told his family he’d like to be laid to rest there.

Haerry died Sept. 27 in Rhode Island at age 94. Five Arizona survivors remain.

Haerry’s granddaughter, Jessica Marino, traveled from New Jersey to Hawaii with her family for Saturday’s ceremony. She handed his urn to divers, who placed it within the ship’s sunken hull. Hundreds of sailors and Marines are entombed there.

“That was the point at which I kind of lost it,” Marino said. “It was really sad, but also really sweet to see. It was amazing.”

Only USS Arizona survivors can be interred on the ship. Haerry served for 25 years in the Navy, retiring as a master chief.

He’s the 42nd survivor to rejoin his shipmates, according to the National Park Service.

Other interments have been captured on video, which gives us a rare glimpse into this most sacred of ceremonies.

Haerry’s story, like all the other stories from December 7, 1941, should never be forgotten.

Health issues prevented Raymond Haerry Jr. from joining his daughter in Hawaii. It was Haerry Jr. who pieced together the narrative of what happened in Pearl Harbor by asking questions of his father over 50 years.

Haerry was trying to get ammunition when a large bomb detonated, igniting fuel and powder magazines, Haerry Jr. told The Associated Press in October. Most of the bow was instantly separated and the ship was lifted out of the water.

Haerry Jr. said his father swam through flaming waters, sweeping his arms in front of him to push the flames away. He shot at Japanese planes from shore. Later, he helped retrieve corpses from the harbor.

The ship lost 1,177 men, nearly four-fifths of its crew. At first, Haerry’s family was surprised by his request to be laid to rest there, but soon they understood.

“That brotherhood doesn’t go away and as he got closer to the end of life, it resonated with him,” Marino said. “He didn’t want to see the site or relive that disaster, but he wanted to relive that camaraderie.”

May God rest his soul, and those brothers he now rests eternally with under the waters of Pearl Harbor.

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  • GWB says:

    Requiescat in pace, brother.
    As Deanna already quoted the St Crispin’s Day speech, I’ll leave it there.

  • GWB says:

    Today is also the 75th Anniversary of the Doolittle Raid.

    Where do we get such men?

    (Bridges at Toko-Ri)

  • Toni Williams says:

    Deanna- I am sobbing. I knew that survivors could be interred in the Arizona, but you told the story beautifully.


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