8 hours ago
Monday, December 7, 2009
Pearl Harbor Day
For those of us under a certain age, a defining moment of our lives was September 11,2001.
For my parents' generation, THE defining moment of their lives was December 7, 1941.
I visited Pearl Harbor and the Arizona Memorial in July of 2004. It was an experience that I will never forget. I had read years ago that one of the most touching and emotional things about visiting the Arizona was seeing the oil on the surface of the water, still leaking after many years. When I visited there was still an oil slick coming from the depths of the harbor, from the oil tanks of the Arizona, and it continues even today.
It is especially dramatic to visit the Arizona at low tide, as I did, and as it was when this picture was taken. One of the spouts of the Arizona is above the water and you can see, just as in this picture, the outline of the ship that lies below you. The realization that more than 1000 men are buried below you is shattering.
I do not espouse remembering Pearl Harbor with bitterness or rancor, but I do feel that remembering the events of December 7, 1941, and honoring those whose lives were forever changed in its aftermath is important.
Thank you to my parents and all members of what Tom Brokaw has named "The Greatest Generation".