Last Veteran to be Interred in USS Arizona Site

 In Veterans

US Navy Veteran Lauren Bruner will be the last veteran to be interred in the USS Arizona site at Pearl Harbor. This weekend, Navy divers will take his ashes to the sunken ship and leave them there after a sunset ceremony on December 7. He will become the 44th survivor of the USS Arizona sinking to join his shipmates in the site.

The other surviving USS Arizona crew will be buried with family.

USA Today noted:

“Bruner said he wanted to return to his ship because few people go to cemeteries, while more than 1 million people visit the Arizona each year. He also saw it as a way to join old friends who never made it off the warship.

“I thought, well, all my buddies are right here. And there are a lot of people who come to see the ship,”Bruner told The Associated Press in an interview in 2016, three years before he died in his sleep in September. Bruner traveled from his La Mirada, California, home to attend Pearl Harbor anniversary events many times.

The Navy began interring crew members from the USS Arizona and USS Utah in 1982. Only those two ship crews have the option of being buried inside. Bruner will be the last for the Arizona. Only three so far for the Utah, with one more who stated he wishes to join them.

We wrote about Lauren Bruner back in September when he passed:

“Twenty-one year old Lauren Bruner was serving as a fire controlman third class when the Japanese attacked the USS Arizona. He escaped the burning ship with burns over 73% of his body. His escape is immortalized in the book “Second to the Last to Leave USS Arizona.” ($34.95 + $8 shipping at ussaz.org). As he and his companion crewmate approached the US hospital ship Solace, an enemy plane once again strafed the water. Fortunately, the hospital ship survived to gather more of the wounded. Bruner survived as well.”

Today we remember all who died in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941. It truly is a “day that will live in infamy.”

Featured photo: combination- file

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