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Salvage and Pearl Harbor Memorial

After the attack, the ship was left resting on the bottom with the deck just awash. In the days and weeks following, efforts were made to recover the bodies of the crew and the ship's records. Eventually, further recovery of bodies became fruitless and the bodies of at least 900 crewmen remained in the ship. During 1942, salvage work to recover as much of the ship as was practical began. The masts and superstructure were removed for scrap and the two turrets aft were salvaged for use at shore batteries on Hawaii. The forward part of the ship had received the most damage, and only the guns of turret two were removed while turret one was left in place. On December 1, 1942, the ship was stricken from the registry of US Navy vessels.

In the years immediately following the end of World War II, the wreck was largely ignored. In 1950, the tradition of raising and lowering the colors over the ship daily was started, and momentum gradually began to build toward providing a memorial for the ship and those who died on her. In 1958, legislation was passed authorizing the Navy to erect a memorial and allowing it to accept donations toward that goal. Among the many noteworthy contributions were several generous ones from Hawaii's legislature and a 1961 concert by Elvis Presley. In 1960, construction began and the memorial was dedicated on Memorial Day in 1962. In 1980, a visitor's center on shore was opened and the Navy turned the operation of the memorial over to the National Park Service. During the 1980s, the Park Service conducted a detailed survey of the sunken Arizona and other sites of historical interest related to the Pearl Harbor attack.

Pearl Harbor Memorial