Posted on Nov 22, 2008. 3 comments

Our generations have a burden of responsibility that comes simply by existing. We must acknowledge and respect the past as it falls behind us.
Finding the individual parts of a whole event so completely intertwined was unexpected.
It started with a twilight reception aboard the USS Missouri in Pearl Harbor.
It was a tipsy, fancy-free night of free Mai Tais, walks along the three football field long teak deck and a catered event with locals strumming and singing the words of Marvin Gaye, "What's going on."
Mother, Mother
There's too many of you crying
Brother, Brother, Brother,
There's too many of you dying
Although in retrospect the song was a prelude of what was to come.
The ship signified the strength and power of the whole. Military strength, Service, Power all showcased on the side of valor and victory. It also signified endings, the close of a great war, the end of such staggering loss of life, and triumph over enemies.
What a difference a few hundred yards of water makes.
If the Mighty Mo illuminates the victory of many than it becomes clear that the US Arizona represents individual loss.
Sometimes change comes just over the horizon catching us off guard and unprepared, like a sudden summer storm.
And the consequences reverberate through time. It's hard to comprehend that the clear and gleaming blue waters contain so much loss.
It is difficult to perceive that overwhelming defeat could be moored so close to victory.
And that the USS Arizona still weeps over it's dead today, the reeky smell of diesel fuel is a tangible, physical result of events that occurred Sixty-seven years ago.
Visiting the US Arizona Memorial becomes one of those solemn, powerful, life altering events that stay with you forever in your bones.
I can't begin to imagine the loss experienced by the parents of the 17, 18, and 19 year old children, whose Eleven hundred and seventy-seven bodies are entombed within the Arizona. That kind of sacrifice can't be quantified in mere words.
But I am thankful.


  • Posted by Heidi on Nov 26, 2008

    powerful words michelle. thankyou.
    I just love that last picture…

  • Posted by Christie on Nov 23, 2008

    Very sobering. Thanks for posting this.

  • Posted by AlisonH on Nov 23, 2008

    And what a post and especially that last picture for your daughter to show her grandchildren.
    My grandfather got in his car and raced to where my father was, along with other Boy Scouts, cutting down Christmas trees for a fundraiser. Grandfather flagged down the pickup that was by then bringing them back to tell them the news: Pearl Harbor had just been attacked.
    Dad’s older brother would later be the man assembling what he fervently hoped would be the only-ever atomic bomb, over Hiroshima.

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