Henderson, Kentucky - With a goal of correcting one of American history's greatest blunders, the Henderson War Memorial Foundation, Inc. is pleased and honored to announce that it will commission a bronze statue of Henderson, Kentucky native son, Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, to honor his service to the nation and to the United States Navy.
Admiral Kimmel, who was born in Henderson in 1882, was Commander-in-Chief of the United States Navy Pacific Fleet at the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Kimmel died in 1968 still seeking vindication of his actions at Pearl Harbor.
The statue will be created by renowned sculptor Raymond Graf, Louisville, Kentucky, whose bronze renditions of the birds of John James Audubon (and a life-sized statue of Audubon himself), currently adorn spots throughout the city of Henderson, Kentucky.
Henderson County Kentucky Fiscal Court, Judge Executive Hugh McCormick, and the Henderson City Commission, Mayor Steve Austin, have jump-started this effort with significant financial contributions of $20,000 each on behalf of all citizens of Henderson County, but of course, more is needed. The total cost of the project is estimated to be $125,000.
Dedication ceremonies will take place in 2016 in Henderson, Kentucky (date and times to be announced), and the public will be invited. Kimmel’s Grandson, Thomas Kimmel, is expected to speak.
In addition to the statue, the Foundation will formally appeal to President Barack Obama to restore Admiral Kimmel to his rightful four-star rank and to completely exonerate him from unjust accusations made shortly after the attack by individuals who felt that blame had to be placed upon someone for the Pearl Harbor disaster. Admiral Kimmel and Lt. General Walter Short were convenient scapegoats.
The War Memorial Foundation Board is of the opinion, as are millions of other Americans – including members of the military, past and present, members of Congress, and historians – that Admiral Kimmel was erroneously blamed for “errors in judgment and dereliction of duty” following the surprise attack on America’s most essential Pacific naval base. In fact, it is historically factual and accurate that information about Japanese intentions was deliberately withheld from Kimmel and Short.
Past Presidents, including Clinton and Bush, have not acted on the Kimmel issue even though in 1999 the United States Senate passed a resolution urging the President to posthumously restore Admiral Kimmel to his full rank. It is hoped that President Obama, the current Commander-in-Chief, will finally right a seventy-three year old wrong.
The Foundation needs for the public to help send the word to President Obama to use his authority to see that justice is finally served for Admiral Kimmel by signing the petition at https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/. Once on the site, search for “Admiral Kimmel” or search for the exact petition headline “Restore the full rank of Admiral Husband Kimmel, Commander at Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941.” If 100,000 signatures are obtained in one month, the White House guarantees a response. The deadline is June 27, 2014. Registration is required on the site to be able to sign the petition, but it is a simple task, and one well worth the effort.
To stay informed about the Kimmel Project, visit the Admiral Kimmel Facebook page. News updates, dates and times, and historical information will be posted.
The War Memorial Foundation is also seeking financial support for the statue. Any donation is welcome and every contribution helps. Please visit the War Memorial Foundation website at http://www.hendersonwarmemorial.org to lend a helping hand. Donations are tax deductible.