The Henderson War Memorial Foundation, Inc. unveiled a bronze statue in Admiral Kimmel’s honor and likeness. Louisville-based and world famous sculptor Raymond Graf was charged with the project. It is the Henderson War Memorial Foundation’s desire to see a 75 year old wrong corrected and the Admiral restored to his four star rank. The Kimmel family legacy has been riddled with betrayal and disgrace since the start of World War II, and they have shouldered an undertaking to right those wrongs that spans decades and generations. Now is the time to correct this injustice.
Now, at the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the people of Henderson have helped in that quest by honoring Admiral Husband E. Kimmel with the unveiling of a statue to ensure a visible commemoration in the place he was born and raised.
Kimmel was commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. After the attack, the four-star admiral was relieved of command of the United States Pacific Fleet and forced into retirement with only two stars. He was one of only two World War II flag officers not to be retired at their highest rank held during the war.
Though he and his Lieutenant General Walter Short were exonerated by Congress in 1999, Kimmel and Short have yet to be cleared by any president and restored to their full status.
At Saturday’s Kimmel statue dedication ceremony on the riverfront in Downtown Henderson, Thomas Kimmel Jr., a grandson of the admiral and a resident of Florida, recounted his grandfather’s experience on that fateful day 75 years ago. “All around him his men were dying – more than two thousand of them – dozens of them drowning in the filthy oil-slick on the harbor, much of it on fire,” said Thomas Kimmel. “In the days that followed, when all around was human suffering, the admiral was to be seen, desperately weary, his uniform covered in mud, visiting virtually every ship’s crew in the harbor.”
The statue is placed amidst the Four Flags Monument by the river. Placed on a half-foot platform, Kimmel stands at five feet and 10 inches. The bronze statue holds a pair of binoculars while looking toward the water. The platform displays a replication of Kimmel’s signature as well.
The total cost of the project is about $125,000. Donations are still being accepted as we have yet to recover the total amount expended towards this project.