By Kerry Miller Share Del.icio.us
Daniel Martinez, chief historian at the USS Arizona Memorial, is keeping busy these days planning the 65th anniversary event commemorating the attack on Pearl Harbor, helping with plans for the area’s new visitor center and enjoying accomplishments in his personal life.
“The theme of this year’s event is ‘A Nation Remembers.‘This is going to be the last time the Pearl Harbor survivors come to Hawaii. Their average age is 86-87. They don’t feel they can make it back again. We will honor them for this last time that they will come back,” explains the MidWeek cover subject from March 2004.
The anniversary celebration is slated for Dec. 2-7. Activities include a symposium featuring authors, historians, Pearl Harbor survivors and Japanese aviation veterans, screenings of History Channel documentaries and a gala fundraiser - all held at Hilton Hawaiian Village. Featured at other locations are the unveiling and Hawaiian blessing of a new USS Arizona Battleship Museum scale model, a commemoration ceremony on Dec. 7 featuring former NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw and more.
The public can register to attend these events, and view a full list of what’s happening and where, online at www.arizonamemorial.org.
The public may also tour the attack site, along with veterans and experts.
“They’ll go to Ford Island, Utah Memorial, Hickam AFB to see the flag pole monuments,” Martinez says. “This is meant for local people to get an opportunity to attend the sessions; you’re getting on places you normally wouldn’t see.”
Martinez also is involved with the building of a new visitor center at the USS Arizona Memorial. A ground-breaking is scheduled for 2007. Fundraising efforts also are in full swing through the Pearl Harbor fund.
“(The new visitor center will) expand on visitor comfort, with a new museum that tells the broader story.”
With the East-West Center at UH-Manoa, he coordinates workshops for Japanese and American teachers so they can teach Pearl Harbor history in their own classrooms.
“It’s been a wonderful bridging of Japanese and American teachers, (showing) challenges of teaching in both countries.”
In addition to chief historian, Martinez recently added Public Information Officer to his list of job titles.
“Professionally, pinch me. I’ve been here now 21 years. Every day is different. I come to work, and I know there’s going to be new opportunities and challenges. I love what I do,” says the Kapolei resident.
The 56-year-old is now an adjunct professor at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I., where he is lecturing in January 2007.
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