USS Arizona Memorial
March 23, 2008
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On approach to Honolulu, we could see Pearl Harbor
out the windows of our Aloha Jet (bankrupt, 3 weeks later)
plane. Once on the ground, we decided that our
four-hour layover was just (barely)
long enough for us to take a taxi over to Pearl Harbor
and visit the memorial to the sailors and soldiers who
It's very startling -- and not a little creepy -- to
see the rusted towers of that battleship riding above
the water line, and the rusty hull below, visible through
the clear water. The bones of nearly a thousand men are
said to reside down there.
The design of the memorial is equally amazing, and strikes
me as one of those things that could have only been accomplished
in the sixties, like the space program or interstates.
It's modern, bold, beautiful,
not at all sentimental. It straddles the mausoleum-battleship in a graceful
way that allows many people to see it up close, and feel the emotion.
It's quite an accomplishment, and I wonder if as many people would
visit Pearl Harbor without it.
Em was struck by the large number of Japanese tourists.
Contrition may play a role in that. Perhaps, too, the
fact that it may be the last battle they won.