The United States will mark the 76th Anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the country’s official entry into World War II on Dec. 7, 2017. And Tampa’s own World War II American Victory Ship plans to commemorate Pearl Harbor Day with a cruise Saturday, Dec. 2.
On board, there will be infantry re-enactors, big band music, “bomber girls” and other entertainment.
But in addition, cadets from the Texas A&M Maritime Academy are joining the cruise to team up with merchant marine veterans and learn how the steam-driven vessel operates.
The American Victory Ship started its service in the Merchant Marine in June 1945 carrying troops and supplies to the war front. The vessel served in Korea and Vietnam before being turned into a floating museum and memorial on Tampa’s waterfront.
The cruise, from noon to 4:30 p.m., also pays tribute to WWII veterans and will include a ceremony commemorating Pearl Harbor Day. The ship is docked behind the Florida Aquarium, 705 Channelside Drive, Tampa. Ticket information is available on the AMVIC website.
Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Dedication
Home to the largest veteran population (98,000) in the state, Hillsborough County, is dedicating a World War II Memorial and opening a new Veterans Resource Center on Pearl Harbor Day, Dec. 7, at the Hillsborough Veterans Memorial Park, 3602 Highway 301 North, Tampa.
The resource center gives veterans one location to apply for all available services and benefits.
The 10 a.m. ceremony also includes a dedication of the park’s new World War II Memorial that lists the names of the 520 Hillsborough County residents killed during that war.
The WWII Memorial is a brick plaza flanked by twin walls with images from the European and Pacific theaters. There are two bridges to commemorate the Bataan Death March and the Battle of Remagen and a monument that commemorates the role of the Navy’s Seabees (Construction Battalions).