In 1976, my parents took a trip to Hawaii with the Knights of Columbus group. They paid for me as a graduation gift from college. I spent a week exploring the island of Oahu. One of the memorable moments was accompanying my Dad, a WWII veteran to the memorial in Pearl Harbor.
We took a short boat ride from the docks to the floating memorial that straddles the hulk of rthe sunken Arizona. The crowd grew quiet as we drew near and debarked on the platform.
The radio tower in mid-ship could be seen above the waterline. On the starboard side of the submerged ship, bubbles of gas and fuel continued to reach the surface.
The Arizona was hit mid ship with a large bomb and went down with more that 1000 sailors aboard.
As we gazed over the Harbor, quiet music played in the background. It was easy to see how so many ships were sunk or damaged. The ships were docked in a line and back to bow of the next ship. The harbor has been changed to give more room and distance between ship docking.
I looked over at my Dad. He was looking off at a distance. He had tears in his eyes. He had been on a ship in the Pacific but did not see active combat. I wondered if he remembered friends and companions that had not come back from the war.
The Uss Missouri, one of the last battle ships built, was decommision and placed as a museum in 1999. It was not there when we visited .
All the ships except the Arizona were raised and put back into commision during WWII.
I was glad to share this moment with my Dad. It brought home the reality of the war and the impack it had on my parents generation.
So take a moment to remember all the cost of wars and conflicts and pray for peace.
Flag over Water
A flag waves lazily over the water of the harbor.
Attached to the sunken ship below by the mast.
At half staff, for the sailors that repose below.
The cost of war is so great,it should deter us.
From such distruction and lost of life.
We hope and pray.