Pearl Harbor

The attack on Pearl Harbor occurred sixty-six years ago today in a beautiful, shallow and protected harbor on the south side of Oahu in the Hawaiian Islands. Not yet a state when the U.S. Navy was attacked at Pearl Harbor, the State of Hawaii and the Federal Government have since turned the site into a well-planned memorial and museum, culminating with a trip into the harbor by ferry to view the sunken remains of the U.S.S. Arizona. The U.S.S. Arizona was victim of a direct hit and sunk rapidly, taking the most number of young U.S. lives of any ship that infamous day. Even now, visitors are told as they look down at the remaining skeleton of the U.S.S. Arizona, the remaining oil from the ship slowly leaks to the surface on a daily basis, leaving a smeared rainbow (or black tears, as the oil slick is sometimes referred to) across a small part of the harbor. Etched in marble on the wall inside the memorial resting over the sunken Arizona are the names of each of the victims of the Arizona, a solemn tribute to the many lives that were cut short that day.

I visited Pearl Harbor several times when I lived in Hawaii and appreciated the trip and the memorial each time. Interestingly enough, the Japanese make up the largest number of visitors other than American tourists from the U.S. Mainland to Pearl Harbor. I can only think that it must be an eye opening experience for many of them, given that Pearl Harbor is not something likely discussed frankly and often in Japan.

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