Partnering with the U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation, U.S. Money Reserve honored three of the five remaining survivors of the USS Arizona at a ceremony in July. The survivors were presented with exclusive Pearl Harbor five-ounce Silver Coins, created by U.S. Money Reserve to honor the brave who fought during the attack on Pearl Harbor.
On December 7, 1941, the American naval installation and airfields at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, were attacked by Japanese forces. This event led the United States of America to enter World War II, and the costs were monumental. Over 2,000 American sailors and airmen perished during the attack. Some of the heaviest casualties resulted from the sinking of the USS Arizona, a large aircraft carrier. While the majority of the Arizona’s crew did not survive the attack, several brave sailors escaped the sinking ship due to their resilience and a bit of good fortune.
U.S. Money Reserve and the U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation honored three of these survivors, along with the man who saved them, at a ceremony in the District of Columbia.
The surviving sailors of the USS Arizona, all in their nineties, visited the American capital for the first time. They were in the city from July 19 to July 23 and were honored upon arrival.
The heroes recognized were Ken Potts, Donald Stratton, and Lauren Bruner. Ken Potts was a coxswain for the USS Arizona when the attack occurred. Stratton holds the rank of Seaman, First Class. Bruner holds the rank of Fire Controlman, Third Class. For Stratton and Bruner, this event was more important than receiving recognition for their survival. For over 50 years, Bruner and Stratton have been looking for a way to honor the man that saved them, the late Joe George.
During the events of Pearl Harbor, George exuded courage and made a judgment call that would save lives. He went against an order to cut the rope attaching the USS Vestal to the USS Arizona, and instead he threw a heaving line to the men stranded on the sinking Arizona. Due to his actions, at least six sailors were able to escape the Arizona with their lives. George risked his life for his fellow sailors, and they have vowed to never forget his actions.
Rear Admiral Frank Thorp of the U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation stressed that the commemoration ceremony was a major event for both patriotic citizens and the families of fallen heroes. George and the surviving sailors of the USS Arizona are symbols of everything that makes America great.
During the ceremony, the audience heard the story of George’s sacrifice. After the hull of the USS Arizona was compromised by an explosion, the ship began to sink quickly. The sailors of the smaller USS Vestal quickly responded to this emergency by attaching stabilization ropes to the Arizona. Unfortunately, the sinking aircraft carrier was too heavy for the small repair vessel. George was manning the ropes when he was ordered by his commanding officer to cut the lines, saying the Arizona was lost. However, George was not ready to give up on the lives of his fellow sailors on the Arizona. He disobeyed his commanding officer’s orders by refusing to cut the stabilizing rope. He also threw a weighted line to the Arizona. This action gave the crew of the Arizona a few extra moments to escape the sinking ship. At least six men were able to leave the aircraft carrier because of the actions of George. Stratton and Bruner were among these survivors.
The actions of Joe George had never been officially recognized. On July 20, 2017, George’s daughter Joe Ann Taylor joined the three survivors of the USS Arizona during a coin presentation ceremony.
The commemorative coin is a five-ounce pure silver coin with a unique Pearl Harbor design.
The ceremony was presented by U.S. Money Reserve, a distributor of government–issued gold, silver, and platinum products. In addition to offering precious metals, representatives of U.S. Money Reserve can provide help to people who wish to protect their retirement funds from recessions, inflation, and other economic woes.
U.S. Money Reserve is also dedicated to their patriotic brand. Several American military veterans hold key positions in the organization and regularly assist veteran communities. To continue honoring America’s heroes, U.S. Money Reserve is working with the U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation to construct a new Lone Sailor statue in Pearl Harbor. This memorial is proposed to be constructed with metal from the sunken USS Arizona and is aimed to be unveiled on October 13, 2017, which also happens to be the Navy’s official birthday. This memorial will ensure that heroes like Joe George are never forgotten.
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