The aftermath of World War II left a lasting impression on the world. At Pearl Harbor, the damage from December 7, 1941 has been repaired but there are memorials to the brave men who fought the Japanese sneak attack.
The design of the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial, with the depression in the center rising upward toward the ends of the structure, depicts the nation's low morale at the onset of hostilities but gradually climbing higher and higher as America moved toward victory against her enemies.
Japan would be defeated and representatives of Japan would sign the Instrument of Surrender (see Japan Surrenders) on board the U.S.S. Missouri, not anchored in Pearl Harbor near the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial.
The symbolism of the war's beginning with the attack on the United States at Pearl Harbor and the sinking of the Battleship Arizona, and the war's end where Japan signed the instruments of surrender on board the Battleship Missouri, is very poignant.
To commemorate the surrender ceremony, a plaque was placed in the teak wood of "might Mo's" "Surrender Deck". The plaque reads in part: "OVER THIS SPOT ON 2 SEPTEMBER 1945 THE INSTRUMENT OF FORMAL SURRENDER OF JAPAN TO THE ALLIED POWERS WAS SIGNED THUS BRINGING TO A CLOSE THE SECOND WORLD WAR. THE SHIP AT THAT TIME WAS AT ANCHOR IN TOKYO BAY."
Note: For information on how World War 2 began, D-Day, speech clips from Neville Chamberlain, Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and more, please visit the World War Two page.