Dec. 7, 2007
My personal photo album
This is my buddy George Brown, ships cook, USS Oklahoma. Oklahoma Congresswoman. Mary Fallin, me, and Oklahoma Congressman. Tom Cole
My friend Ensign Theresa Donnelly of the USS RussellCaptain Taylor Skardon Commanding Officer Pearl Harbor Naval Base and tour guide of the harbor.
The Memorial, Me and my wife and sonHawaii Governor Linda Lingle.
Mr Doug Lentz Superintendent National Park Service Pearl Harbor Hawaii. Congresswoman. Mary Fallin, Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry, U.S. Congresswoman. Mazie K. Hirono
At the candlelit dinner, Waikiki Sheraton, Dec. 7, 2007
Dr. Bob Blackburn President of the Oklahoma Historical Society
One person can make a difference!
This drive for a memorial all started years ago when I attended the unveiling of the USS Oklahoma Memorial in Oklahoma City in 1998. There I met some of the men of the OKIE. I purchased a book from the gift shop at the Oklahoma Historical Society by Mr Joe Todd.
It was a book of interviews he had conducted over years of the crew of the USS Oklahoma, WW1 & WW2.
After meeting Mr Todd I decided to take my family trip to Pearl Harbor in 2000.
I wanted to show my six year old son where the USS Oklahoma was moored at Pearl Harbor.
It disturbed me that the OKIE seemed to me to be forgotten.
(The USS Missouri is moored on the spot the OKIE sank.)
A battleship that wasn't even commissioned during the battle for Pearl Harbor is now moored on the very spot where the OKIE lost her life.
A tourist attraction. I then decided to tour the Punch Bowl National Cemetery and couldn't locate the remains of the crew of the Oklahoma either.
None of the grounds keepers at the Punch Bowl knew where the crew was interred.
I discovered later after my trip the crew were buried in mass graves with markers listing the amount of bodies in each grave and the word
"Unknown Dec 7, 1941".
I contacted a long time friend who had just been elected a State Senator. Mr Jim Reynolds in Oklahoma City and told him about my trip, and showed him my photographs. I contacted one of the survivors I had met in 1998 in Oklahoma. Mr Paul Goodyear (Survivor USS Oklahoma) and he came onboard to help us.
The Senator made a few calls and organized a committee to place a monument at Pearl Harbor.
Me and my life long friend Senator Jim Reynolds who assisted me building this Memorial.
Senator Reynolds asked me to come over and speak to this new panel, give them some history of the ship, and told them what needs to be done.
From there I purchased this domain and started traveling across this nation collecting interviews, and meeting the vets who served on board the USS Oklahoma.
I met some real American Naval Heroes who saved this world from one end of this country to the other. You can read some of there testimonies on this site.
I wrote letters to the White House, US Senators from Oklahoma, and Congressman from Oklahoma.
They responded favorably back to me.
The graves of the crew of the USS Oklahoma at the "Punch Bowl" were marked by Dec. 7, 2002.
I flew out for the ceremony and decorated one of the graves
Killed in action Dec. 7, 1941
After 7 long years and over $20,000 of my personal funds. There was conflict with certain individuals and Government branches so
with the aid of Oklahoma Congressman Tom cole I am happy to say the creation of this memorial was signed into law
by President George W. Bush.
The Memorial had to be built in a certain time frame.
Barber BrothersOliver Burger David Tidball
Killed in Action 12/7/1941