Murkowski Pushes Pentagon for Pearl Harbor Victims to be “Unknown” No Longer
Senator Joins Colleagues in Seeking Final Closure for Families
Senator Lisa Murkowski joined a bipartisan group of 15 Senate colleagues in urging the Department of Defense to have the bodies of 21 victims of the Pearl Harbor attack exhumed and identified so that they can either be brought home for burial in their community, or be buried in a marked grave in Hawaii.
Military researchers and scientists have concluded that the remains of 21 of the 429 men who perished in the explosive beginning of America’s involvement in World War II are buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in five caskets of three graves marked simply P-1001, P-1003, and P-0989.
“These men were husbands, these men were sons, these men are still fathers and grandfathers to this day; these men are people – not ‘P-1003’ or ‘P-0989,’” said Senator Murkowski. “Americans honor these soldiers through ceremonies and public speeches, but we need to also honor them and their memory by giving their families the right to know where their remains are and bury them as they choose”
In the letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (attached), the Senators write: “All 21 men were killed, along with 408 other sailors, when the U.S.S. Oklahoma was torpedoed during the attack on Pearl Harbor …For nearly 70 years, the family members of these men never knew the final resting place of their loved ones. We respectfully ask that the Department of Defense grant the JPAC Central Identification Laboratory’s request to exhume the five unknown caskets and identify the remains. The brave men who died protecting our great nation at Pearl Harbor deserve a final resting place of their families’ choosing.”