It’s Labor Day 2013, the official end of summer in the U.S., and I am thinking back on July 4 and the patriotic day trip my family took (on July 5) to visit Pearl Harbor on O’ahu, Hawai’i. You may remember December 7, 1941 if you were living then, or you may recall learning about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on that day, drawing the United States into WW II, but a visit to Pearl Harbor is a very personal and moving way to learn about the history and appreciate how devastating the attack was. Today’s blog will focus on the USS Arizona, the battleship that sunk instantly with 1,177 sailors and Marines aboard. One thousand one hundred two (1,102) perished that day.
This memorial, built in 1962, straddles the sunken hull of the battleship. It contains the names of all the deceased crew on the far end, and offers views of the sunken ship toward the bow and the stern, each marked with spherical white buoys. The National Park Service runs a shuttle boat out to the memorial.
Here is the view from the memorial, looking toward the stern. Drops of oil that continue to leak from the wreckage are called “tears of the Arizona.”
Looking toward the bow, the circular structure above the water line is the gun turret. (The attached dock was built later.)
I photographed this map showing an overview of the Harbor and the ships that were damaged or sunk in the attack. The spot of glare is the location of the USS Arizona.
The striking American flag flies at half mast over the USS Arizona.