Saturday, January 28, 2017
A Pearl of a Different Sort
We Dreamers visited Pearl Harbor while we were on Oahu. I didn't expect to be moved to the extent that I was. The entire day was haunting. The sound of airplanes and the rat-a-tat-tat strafing of gunfire surrounds visitors as they enter the visitor center, taking them on a swift trip back in time to that horrific day, December 7, 1941. I meandered through the center, catching snippets of videos, reading displays and trying to take in a bunch of information before viewing an excellent video setting the stage for our visit to the USS Arizona memorial. The Arizona took a hit to its magazine causing a massive explosion and rapidly sinking the battleship, killing over 1100 men. The ship was not salvageable so it remains as a memorial on the floor of the harbor. Visitors take a short boat ride out to the structure that was constructed over the sunken battleship. Parts of the ship can be seen from the memorial. A somber visit as one looks at the visible portions of the ship lurking just under the water, while standing in the shadow of a massive wall listing the names of those whose remains are interred in the ship. Oil from the ship rises to the surface of the water after all these years, making me think of tears. The droplets rise to the surface of the water and spread slowly in the ripples of the harbor, moving off to make way for another droplet. Drop after drop. Day after day. Year after year.
I am glad that our tour included the USS Bowfin submarine and the related museum as well as the air museum where the airfield and buildings still bear witness to the attack. A tour of the USS Missouri, the site of the treaty signing that ended the war, ended our time travels.
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