State, county and city officials celebrated the 75th anniversary of the commissioning of the battleship USS Missouri BB-63 on Tuesday in Jefferson City.
The USS Missouri BB-63 was commissioned June 11, 1944, and went to war in late 1944, participating in several island invasions. The USS Missouri is fourth and best-known Missouri battleship, according to a proclamation Missouri Gov. Mike Parson presented Tuesday.
It is most known for being the site of the Japanese surrendering to the Allied Powers in 1945, ending World War II.
During the ceremony at the Museum of Missouri Military History, Parson presented a framed proclamation to museum Director Charles Machon in honor of the 75th anniversary of the commissioning. Parson also
presented a framed set of stamps issued by the U.S. Postal Service that celebrate the 75th anniversary.
Machon said he felt "privileged and thankful" to have local officials take an interest in the battleship and help celebrate its commissioning.
It's important for residents to remember and recognize occasions like this, Parson said.
"I think (it's because) of what that stands for, what the USS Missouri stood for in the day and for the Japanese to surrender there, and it's just part of our history and who we are," he said. "I think that's something we always want to talk about and share with the general public every day, about our servicemen and women and what they've done for our country over the years to give us all the opportunities and privileges that we have today."
Next year will be the 75th anniversary of the Japanese surrender, and Cole County Presiding Commissioner Sam Bushman said he hopes to have a ceremony to honor that anniversary.
Bushman is trying to find sailors who were crew members in 1945. Former crew members can contact Bushman at 573-634-9113 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The USS Missouri BB-63 was decommissioned in 1955 and later re-commissioned in 1986, according to the Battleship Missouri Memorial website. It was then decommissioned again in 1992.
The battleship is currently at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.