Military and civilian alike remember the bombing of Pearl Harbor, HI on December 7, 1941, if not from the day itself, then from the stories told. A day that will live in infamy has been recounted in books, in film and ceremonies. Today, Pearl recognizes 120 survivors who journey to share their experiences, remembered as if it were yesterday.
The stacks of the Arizona are an eerie reminder of the 2400 souls that perished on December 7th. The Arizona Memorial rises above and honors the sailors with an etched wall commemorating each, who sacrificed all in defense of country. It brings a knot to the throat and moisture to the eye to think of those, whose families would never grow old together. The loss is so profound that it is palpable when you stand there quietly.
Having conducted ceremonies on the Memorial, I can attest to the troubled aura that pervades the open viewing area. Loss leaves its lingering imprint, years after.
A loss of such magnitude should serve to remind us of the preciousness of life. We have a duty to ourselves to reconcile what we can and do our best to bring honor and truth to every day.
Chaplain Kennedy writes additional experiences of the Navy at the Memorial and aboard the carriers.
Be good to yourself and those you love. You never know if it will be your last day.