Monday, August 15, 2011

There are 2 sides to every story

Like every other morning we arrived at a new port we woke up early and went up to the 7th deck to watch the sunrise over our new destination.  Though, this was slightly different.  We were home, well almost home.  We had arrived to our first US port in 4 months of travel and though thousands of miles from our destination we were back in the US.  This morning more than the usual  community members joined us to watch our re entry.  As the sun rose we were also surrounded by an unfamiliar sound.  The sound of people chatting on their cell phones, students, staff, faculty talking to family members letting them know we were almost home.

USS Arizona/Pearl Harbor

One of the sights that I visited while in Honolulu was Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona, its the other half of the story of World War I.  The attack of Pearl Harbor and bombing of the USS Arizona is what led to the US dropping nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  The USS Arizona still lies at the bottom of the Harbor and leaks oil, some 60 plus years after its 1177 passengers were entombed there.  The site is a solemn place, reminding me of my visits to Arlington cemetery and the tomb of the Unknown Soldiers. 

We arrive to the monument and had to take a small boat out to the monument, a white marble structure that was built over where the Arizona lies.  

  As you enter the monument you see the flags of the states who's name sake battle ships were also affected. On the opposite side the flags representing Hawaii, the United States of America and the branches of the military.
 As you walk through there is space, in the middle a hollow for one to look down and see tropical fish among the wreckage, among coral that now covers the barely visible USS Arizona,

 and then the silent yet visible reminders in form of oil droplets or black tears, that something horrible happened and that there in fact are remnants below.

On the far wall, the list of names of those 1177 people who's lives were lost on that day in December 68 years almost to the day that I visited the Arizona


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