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65 Years at Pearl Harbor
Friday, Dec 8, 2006 from 'Ewa Beach, Hawaii
Posted: Dec 8, 2006 | 482 words | 2 Comments
Today was a special day for me, our country, and even more special for the returning veterans. I didn’t plan my trip around, but by chance I was fortunate to be in Hawaii today, on the 65th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. I was honored to be there for such an even and special day in history.
After walking through the museum, touring the USS Missouri, watching a short documentary, and going to the USS Arizona memorial I felt very somber. And I couldn’t help to think of the generational divide. A very large majority of the people at Pearl Harbor today wasn’t yet born when Pearl Harbor was attacked. We live through the veterans, stories, memorials, and movies. Yet I happened to be there in my camouflage cargo shorts with my aviator sunglasses, so it’s a also a culture that’s very engrained with well… describe it on your own I guess.
It was moving to watch everyone applaud a Pearl Harbor veteran who was on the same boat as I was on our way to the memorial. I have not been around military people much in my life. Yet, my room here in â€šÃ„Ã²Ewa Beach is available to me because the guy who is renting it from Craig is on duty in Iraq right now. Today I learned of the respect this country has for our soldiers and veterans. These men stood up for the freedom that we have, the freedom that grants me the ability to do what I’m doing.
After September 11th much of the press was comparing it to Pearl Harbor, at least in terms of deaths. And it was just Friday that I was at Ground Zero in New York City. I couldn’t help but to think of both of them together. I strongly feel that after 9/11 my generation was able to understand Pearl Harbor on a much more personal level. Personally, it was a glimpse into what happened and how a country felt on that day 65 years ago. Mostly, how a country came together. I also thought about Ground Zero, 65 years from now. Will there be audio tours, snack shops, and souvenirs for photo crazy tourists? To be honest, that aspect of it just gives me a funny feeling.
It was a moving day, full of many thoughts of what’s gone on in the last 65 years and how we can grow from the experience. I suppose most of my thoughts are looking at 1941 and 2006, Pearl Harbor and September 11th, WWII and the war on terror, and everything in between.
The highlight of the visit was reading several of the individual stories from December 7th, 1941. It seems that everyone there that day had an amazing story. It must be one of the most rewarding conversations a person can have to sit down with a veteran and just listen.
Comment by Armin
From Milwaukee, WI
As a sailor in the navy during the late 60's I was stationed at Pearl for three years. It was not until the tragedy of 9/11 that I fully grasped the events of Dec. 7th,1941.
Comment by Tonia
From Pearl City, HI
Aloha Justin, I just had an early Sunday morning rise to the occasion situation with my mother's voice over the answering machine. "Tonia, come downstairs, a neighbor hit you car!" Got up and was met with a visibly shaken elderly woman who apologized profusely having been blinded by the early morning glare coming up the street. I could not get upset and so I am learning to live with a quarter-size hole that is a reminder of things that happen in life. It happens. With all that is going on in the world, just grateful that nobody got hurt. Now, how my husband will take such oogie aesthetics is another story...uh oh. He just left to work. Will have to bring out my magic bag of tricks and communication skills to make him also see the lighter side of life, no pun intended. Wish me luck! Anyhow, after the incident, I sat down and turned on the t.v. and saw "Naomi's New Morning." Not sure how long that has been on, but you were a guest and that is how I got wind of "The Hometown Invasion Tour." Interestingly enough, I have a view of Pearl Harbor and always gaze out with the same sentiment that you have shared. It is refreshing to see such a spontaneity of spirit being a part of an experimental journey. Good luck! Much mahalo (Hawaiian "thank you") Tonia