December 7, 2012

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

During my Hawaiian trip in May I visited the historic site of Pearl Harbor. Seventy one years ago today 2,439 enlisted men and civilians lost their lives during this surprise attack.

My journey while touring Pearl Harbor brought up mixed emotions from anger to sadness and ultimately to hope.

Pearl Harbor is on the island of O'ahu, Hawaii. On December 7, 1941 a Japanese Naval Fleet secretly moved into position north of the island of O'ahu and launched a surprise attack on the Pacific Fleet that was anchored in Pearl Harbor.
Inside the museum, this is one of the first panels of a timeline
that explains what happen on December 7, 1941.
A boat takes small groups out to the USS Arizona Memorial.
The USS Arizona Memorial is built over the remains
of the sunken battleship USS Arizona.
For over one thousand crewmen, this is their final resting place after their ship was bombed on December 7, 1941.

The USS Arizona Memorial consists of three sections the entry, assembly room and the shrine.

Flags line both sides of the entryway.

In the assembly room, there are seven large open windows on
each side and on the ceiling to commemorate the date of the attack.
The assembly room is a quiet place
with just a few hushed whispers being heard.

A few pieces of the ship are visible above the water line.
The out line of the submerged ship.
This postcard shows the sunken remains of USS Arizona. The white blocks to
the right are the mooring quays that once secured the great warships in 1941.
Inside the shrine is a marble wall that contains the names of all killed on the Arizona.

Sanderson appeared on the marble wall, perhaps
a relative of my husband.
A small plaque is also installed in this area which bears the names of the survivors from the Arizona.

Tears filled my eyes as I stood in this room and saw all of the names carved on the wall, the room was quiet, and sorrow filled the air.

As I left the shrine area and re-entered the assembly room, I looked up and saw the American flag.

When I saw my countries flag flying high, I said a prayer of thanks
for all of the men and women who have fought and continue to fight
so I could live in a free land.
This Tree of Life sculpture stands tall in the walk way of the visitors center.
This sculpture reminded me that life goes on with the hope that future generations
learn from past events and find a better way to resolve differences.
The Tree of Life can also be seen on either side inside
the shrine area on the USS Arizona Memorial.
A half cement wall holds quotes about the events that occurred at Pearl Harbor. This quote from Alvin H. Bruene is probably the most accurate. May the victims of this horrific event rest in peace.


  1. Beautiful post, Paulette. Thank you for all the photos too. I would like to visit there sometime. It must have been such a moving experience.

  2. I went to Pearl four years ago, before my son was stationed at Hickam Air Force Base. We rented the headset and listened to Ernest Borgnine tell the history as we took the boat trip out to the site. Just like you, I dropped my orchids in the water where they floated on the oil still seeping up to the surface and cried... When we exited the boat back at the base and were greeted by service members I walked up to a young Sailor, hugged him and said, "That's from your Mother! Remember to call HOME!" Probably the only time THAT will happen to him! I miss my Airman who is now at Pearl Harbor and am so grateful for ALL of our American service members past and present!