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In Hawaii, ceremonies at battleship Missouri will remember the end of World War II

In Hawaii, ceremonies at battleship Missouri will remember the end of World War II
Gen. Douglas MacArthur signs the documents of Japanese surrender on the deck of the battleship Missouri on Sept. 2, 1945. (Battleship Missouri Memorial)

The end of World War II is to be remembered in Hawaii at the ship where the Japanese surrendered 70 years ago, less than a month after atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Sources: Pearl Harbor.org, Encyclopedia Britannica. Photo of the battleship Arizona by the Associated Press.

The surrender occurred Sept. 2, 1945, on the deck of the battleship Missouri while it was anchored in Tokyo Bay. The vessel is a now floating museum at Pearl Harbor, where an attack by the Japanese prompted the U.S. to enter World War II.

On Sept. 2, dignitaries and veterans are to gather for a ceremony beginning at 9:02 a.m., the moment at which the surrender proceedings got underway seven decades ago.

The ceremony is to be led by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Adm. Scott Swift, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. More than 20 members of Congress are expected to attend.

The commemoration will be on the Ford Island pier alongside the ship known as the Mighty Mo. Free admission and complimentary shuttle service will be provided for those who make reservations -- first come, first served -- by email to RSVP@ussmissouri.org.

The Missouri sits about 200 yards from the bow of the battleship Arizona, sunk in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, the day the United States entered the war.

The pens used by Gen. Douglas MacArthur and Adm. Chester Nimitz will be part of a special exhibit of artifacts from the 1945 document signings that brought the war to an end.

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The battleship Missouri is now a floating museum in Honolulu. (Battleship Missouri Memorial)

“On the surrender day, all of the guns here [on the Missouri] were locked and loaded because nobody knew if this was trick or not,” said Mike Carr, president and chief executive of the Battleship Missouri Memorial. “In fact, there were almost a thousand planes in the air at that time with either landing sites or bombing targets designated.”

A brass plaque on the Missouri's 01 deck marks the site of the surrender. On lower decks, restored crew quarters, exhibits and a film share the stories of the sailors who served on the warship.

The Sept. 2 observance is free, but admission to the Battleship Missouri Memorial, which is open daily, costs $25 for adults and $13 for children 4-12. For information or reservations, call (877) 644-4896.

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