Message of the Week
Today, I returned from a visit to an awe-inspiring place in Arizona history: Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Sixty-four years ago, on December 7, 1941, the USS Arizona battleship fell victim to the Japanese attack and sunk to the harbor floor. On Monday, I paid tribute to the USS Arizona Memorial and visited the Memorial Museum and Visitor Center that now stands on the shore of the ship's final resting place. In a sad an ironic twist of fate, I must report that the museum honoring the sunken ship is now sinking.
Experts have ruled that, after years of structural erosion and overcrowding, the Museum & Visitor Center has been damaged beyond repair. The facility will only be able to safely accommodate visitors for four to nine more years.
Seeing the damage that has befallen the Pearl Harbor Memorial and Visitor Center saddened me, but my visit renewed my energy. I want to ensure that Arizona is doing everything it can to preserve the monuments honoring America's "greatest generation," and doing everything it can to serve the living members of that generation.
Arizonans will always have a special connection to Pearl Harbor, thus I am serving as a National Honorary Chair of the Pearl Harbor Memorial Fund. I want ours to be a state that veterans and seniors can be proud to live in and know that they are valued members of the Arizona communities.
In the coming months, I will be visiting with seniors' groups around the state to discuss the new or improved programs that are already in place to serve them. Our state offers a wide variety of benefits and services for seniors, from financial aid seniors can discover through BenefitsCheckUp, to volunteer opportunities such as Foster Grandparents. We also have counselors available to help seniors navigate the complex process involved with the federal government's new Medicare Part D, and other state and national benefits programs.
On Friday, Oct. 7, I will visit the Dorothy Powell Senior Adult Center in Casa Grande to talk with veterans and seniors in that community. I look forward to this visit and others that will follow around the state. I have already been overwhelmed by the public support I have received statewide for my veterans' memorial initiatives and the other policies created for Arizona seniors.
Arizonans are sending a message, loud and clear: Arizona veterans and seniors fought for the freedoms we enjoy today, and now we have a chance to say thank you. By word and by deed, through government action and community efforts, we must honor and serve the men and women helped define our nation.
Those who wish to learn more about plans for the new Museum & Visitor Center or contribute to the Pearl Harbor Memorial Fund may do so online at www.pearlharbormemorial.com
Individuals may also call the Pearl Harbor Memorial Fund toll free at 1-866-DEC-1941 (1-866-332-1941).
As always, if you have any questions or comments, please contact my office at 1-800-253-0883 and ask to speak to Constituent Services.
Yours Very Truly,