Day 5 – Ford Island. I had started the journal with an ominous post, “All along my tank of patience was depleting and day five was when I was almost on empty.” Yikes. Something to not write home about. But, back to the most spectacular part of Day Five – visiting the Arizona memorial. Have you been there? If you are a military history buff you know all about the Arizona and why it is so special. So solemn a location. Seriously.
We managed to schedule a trip for right after lunch. As the boat ferried us over to the monument I recounted what I knew, she was sunk on December 7th, 1941 in the attack on Pearl Harbor. To this day she is considered a cemetery as she is the tomb for over 1,000 sailors who were aboard the U.S.S. Arizona on that day. Only 30-odd people survived the attack and they have the option of having their remains entombed in the Arizona after their deaths. Lastly, oil from the Arizona is known to still bubble to the surface. While I “knew” all these things I was not prepared for how moved I would be once we stood inside the monument. There is a hush over everything. No one really says anything. Cameras click and people murmur but for the most part there is no sound. A flag snaps in the wind and the scent of fresh hung leis floats on the air. Then, the names in the shrine. All the names. I was struck by the groups of men with the same last name. Siblings together lost. Siblings forever separated. Then the oil. It’s true. Stare out a window of the Arizona Memorial, down into the waters of Pearl Harbor and you will see blossoms of rainbow slick oil still rising to the surface. It’s like the Arizona is crying. How long can these puddles of oil continue to surface?