I have only been to Hawaii once. A visit to Oahu for five days in 2003.
Yet, I could not have felt that visit complete without a stop at the Pearl Harbor Memorial.
Here, within several hundred yards of each other are the ships that represent the beginning and the ending of our nation’s involvement in World War II. The USS Arizona and the USS Missouri. The Arizona, with 1,102 still entombed aboard, giving rise more than 70 years later to oil from her bunkers. As if to shed a tear for all aboard who lay at rest. The Missouri, upon whose deck the Japanese formally surrendered, ending the loss of life on all sides. Both battleships now rendered obsolete among the fighting navies of the world. Poignant and moving indeed.
The view above was taken during that brief visit. The remains of one of the turrets of the Arizona.
Debate if you like the question of our national involvement in what was to be a global conflict. But you cannot do so without acknowledgement to both the men and women who fought and died to protect our many freedoms – such as that right to debate such questions. For if they had not answered the call, we would not enjoy what we do.
So, today, 71 years later, remember those men and women. All who have and who continue to serve our country. In war and in peace.
Lest we forget.