At the 2019 Elks National Convention in St. Louis, outgoing Grand Exalted Ruler Mike Luhr issued a challenge to the Elks members to raise funds Pearl Harbor National Memorial in Hawaii for the i. “I ask you then, will your Lodges and Members support the idea of making sure the memories of our veterans, passed and living, are kept with us for the years to come, and make sure the history of that ‘Day in Infamy’ is recorded so our great-great-grandchildren will be able to see where our country has been?” Since that announcement, Elks have been partnering with the Pacific Historical Parks, a WWII focused 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public benefit organization that oversees the Pearl Harbor National Memorial, to help preserve, restore and modernize the USS Arizona Memorial. Thanks to the Elk Membership donations, we raised more than $500,000!
These contributions will help honor the service and dedication of Americans whose profound contributions to our nation should never be forgotten so that generations to come will know and appreciate the enormous sacrifices of the Greatest Generation. The Elks Pearl Harbor Campaign ended last year, November 11, 2020. As of June 4th the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks raised $514,971.78.
Here's what the funds were used for.
(5) Facts About Pearl Harbor and USS Arizona: (www.history.com/news/5-facts-about-pearl-harbor-and-the-uss-arizona)
1. Twenty-three sets of brothers died aboard USS Arizona. (There were 37 confirmed pairs or trios of brothers. Of these 77 men, 62 were killed, and 23 sets of brothers died)
2. USS Arizona’s entire band was lost in the attack. (Almost half of the casualties at Pearl Harbor occurred on the naval battleship USS Arizona, which was hit four times by Japanese bombers)
3. Fuel continues to leak from USS Arizona’s wreckage. (The fuel leak is sometimes referred to as the “tears of the Arizona,” or “black tears”.)
4. Some former crewmembers have chosen USS Arizona as their final resting place. (Crewmembers who served on the ship prior to the attack may have their ashes scattered above the wreck site, or their Urn placed withing the ship and those who served on other vessels stationed at Pearl Harbor may have their ashes scattered above their former ships)
5. A memorial was built at the USS Arizona site, thanks in part to Elvis Presley (Elvis, who had recently finished a two-year stint in the U.S. Army, performed a benefit concert that raised over $50,000—more than 10 percent of the USS Arizona Memorial’s final original cost)