Lest We Forget II: Pearl Harbor

Some consider the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Honolulu on December 7, 1941 to be a major turning point in the war because it brought the Americans into World War II. That FDR, the then President, had been maneuvering for a few years to get the American public to agree to go to war is often overlooked. At any rate, the attack on Pearl Harbor was devastating in the number of lives that were lost.

Japanese planes came, without much advance warning, and devastated the American fleet stationed in Pearl Harbor.  Many lives were lost including over a thousand on the USS Arizona.  When in Honolulu on Offshore, I took time to visit the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor (along with hundreds of others that day – there were long line ups to get in).  It was a moving, if not slightly America-centred, experience.
A bridge-like structure has been built over the wreck of the USS Arizona for visitors to walk on.  It is quiet inside, almost eerily, given that nearly 200 people are inside at any given time.  At one end is a list of all the names of those who perished when the Arizona went down.  It is slightly strange to look down at the wreck – the entire thing is just sitting on the bottom of the harbor as it fell – knowing that it is a tomb to so many young men (over 1000 were on board when it went down).

All around the edge of the harbor where the battleships were tied up, are these white markers.  They were, in fact, what each ship was tied to.  The name of each is written on it, two boats per marker.  All that remains of some of these boats is this name.

Sometimes called the tears of the Arizona, oil still floats away from the wreck on a daily basis.  Often, as is the case here, accompanied by the petals of flowers a rememberer has tossed into the water.

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