Friday, June 15, 2012

A somber day of remembrance...

Yesterday's activities were on the more sobering side. We went to visit the USS Arizona Memorial. It is one of the most visited sites on the island and not one to be rushed through. We were there a total of 4 hours. They have the entire memorial park very well organized and there is no fee for visiting the memorial but I highly recommend you lay out the $7.50 for the audio tour cassette/player. You get a map that points out all the stations were you can listen to the narration of the events of Dec. 7, 1941, done by Jamie Lee Curtis along with interviews of survivors who lived through the day. It was a very moving experience along with learning a lot. Here are some photos. This is a replica of the USS Arizona that was sunk on Dec. 7, 1941. It was so badly damaged that it was not raised from its final resting place at harbor's bottom.
This is a replica of one of the Japanese planes that attacked that day.

What it looked like as the Japanese dropped torpedos into the harbor aimed at our ships that were lined up end to end, and two by two.

A replica of the memorial which was built across the sunken ship. As you walk through the memorial you can look down and see the shadowey image of the ship underneath the water. It is the tomb of 1177 sailors who lost their lives that day or other sailors who have subsequently died and requested to be interred there with their fellow comrades. Two such interments occured as recently as Dec. 2011

Approaching sacred ground.

The wall of names of sailors who died that day on the Arizona.

Leaving the Memorial, a quiet and somber ride.

The stories of the survivors of the attack, of the Japanese who attacked, the civilians and children who lived in fear afterwards, all very moving along with the scenes in their minds that never ever left them through out the rest of their lives. It was not just another day. It was a day that turned so many lives upside down. Another opportunity for us to learn from the past and not take our freedom for granted.

We finished up our evening by driving to the west side of the island to watch the sun set. It ended up being very overcast and raining again, although not where we were, so it wasn't the spectacular sunset we were hoping for, none the less it was stunning.

The palm trees illuminated along the walk. Beautiful.

We saw pictures of sailors on liberty on Dec. 6, 1941. They were at a concert enjoying liberty, with no idea what they would face early the next morning. For me enjoying the company of DH and DD while watching the sunset over the pacific brought this home to me. We do not know what difficulties we might face tomorrow, or even in the next hour. Along the walls of the Rememberance Circle at the memorial were different quotes, I would like to share one. Evidently Eleanor Roosevelt kept this prayer in her wallet all through out the war.

Dear Lord,
Lest I continue
My complacent way,
Help me to remember that somewhere,
Somehow out there
A man died for me today.
As long as there be war,
I then must
Ask and answer
Am I worth dying for?

We are still losing soldiers daily. Are we asking ourselves, am I worth dying for? Is the life I am living, the choices I am making daily, worth someone else dying for today?

I pray that you have a wonderful day, safe in the protective hands of your heavenly Father and the creator of this entire world and may your choices glorify Him today for if they do, then any soldier that might die today in the line of duty will not have died in vain.
PS. The palm tree impersonator is a cell phone tower.

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