History of the Pearl Harbor Memorial Flag
In October 2007, members of American Legion Post #114 and then Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Vice-President Martin Harvier flew across the Pacific Ocean to Honolulu, Hawaii, to retrieve one of the flags that once flew over the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor National Memorial. As veterans, veterans’ organizations and the nation prepare to remember those who were lost and injured during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, it’s important to remember how the Community obtained a flag that once flew over the USS Arizona Memorial.
The late Joel Jefferson, a member of American Legion Post #114 Bushmasters, led the push to obtain the flag for the Community. More than 12 years ago, he established communication with Skip Wheeler of the National Park Service, who took Jefferson through a lengthy process. After much back-and-forth communication between the two, American Legion Post #114 and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community were granted a flag on October 12, 2007.
|American Legion Bushmasters Post #114 arrive in Honolulu, Hawaii to retrieve one of the many flags that once flew over the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial in October of 2007.|
This was the first and only USS Arizona Memorial flag granted to an all-Native American Legion Post and tribal community. Post #114 and the Community have been sharing the flag with more than 25 other American Legion posts and veterans’ groups since 2008.
|Today the flag is housed at the Salt River Repository when it is not being loaned out to other communities and veterans organizations.|
The flag just traveled to Gila River and will be brought back to Salt River for the Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day event on Friday, December 6, at the USS Arizona Memorial Gardens at Salt River Fields. On the following day, American Legion Post #39 in Gilbert will take the flag and conduct their own ceremony.