Wednesday, December 7, 2016


75 years ago today the Japanese Navy mounted a surprise attack against the United States at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

More than 2,400 Americans were killed in the attacks and all eight U.S. battleships were damaged with four of them sunk.

Three of the four were later raised.

Only the USS Arizona remained at the bottom of the sea where a memorial has been built over it.

Many tourists from around the world have visited the memorial over the years.

Later this month the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will join President Barack Obama in visiting Pearl Harbor.

He will be the first Japanese leader to come to the scene of this disaster.

He may see this.

I think one of the many insanities of war is that the burial place of nearly twelve hundred men has become a tourist attraction.


joeh said...

I'm sure almost all of the tourists are there to just reflect and keep all those sailors in their memory, much like the WTC memorial...somehow I have no desire to visit either, I reflect from afar.

Thérèse said...

Let's only keep in mind the shared values and hope for a future without war.
Your last sentence makes sense and we all should find a way to acknowledge the facts without any profit involved or profit redirected to acts made to bring peace on earth.

Should Fish More said...

It's kind of the same thing in Europe, France esp. with the WW2 cemeteries and memorials. I also think of what we did to the people living on the west coast that were of Japanese descent. Some had been here for generations, immigrated in the 1880's.

Tom Cochrun said...

In a few decades Pearl Harbor will be ancient history. Remembering will be more of a challenge. Memorials are important, even though mile makers to a past. I felt reverence while at the memorial and hesitated to even take a photograph. In time it will be just a place for photos, but maybe a reminder of those who perished and what ensued.
A good thing about December 7 is Noam Chomsky-born on this day.
Students who acquire large debts putting themselves through school are unlikely to think about changing society. When you trap people in a system of debt, they can't afford the time to think. -Noam Chomsky, linguistics professor and political activist (b. 7 Dec 1928)

Zhoen said...

Should Fish More said...

I've been reading Chomsky since the early seventies. He is a brilliant man, wisdom beyond compare. I've never, ever, been able to read through any one his books in one coherent reading.
You've listen to him lecture? The man knows everything about social structures, history, anything that's happened in the last thousand years. But listening to him give one of his NPR or Pacific Radio is the surest way in hell of putting me to sleep.
He's someone I'd like to have a cup of coffee with, though.

Stephen Hayes said...

It is odd that it's a tourist attraction, much like the USS Missouri next door. I've been to both and everyone I encountered was wonderfully respectful.

The Bug said...

I have a great uncle who was killed on the Arizona. My grandparents went to see the memorial when I was a small child. Of course, at that time all I could think about was what would they bring me back from Hawaii, but now I imagine what a pilgrimage that was for the dairyman & his hairdresser bride!

William Kendall said...

And every year there are fewer survivors.

Frank Phillippi said...

After many visits to battlefields and cemeteries over the years, I am still surprised by how many people choose to visit those places instead of amusement parks or shopping malls. Many bring their children to honor the fallen, look for relatives and to study history. That always offers a bit of hope that we will learn from the past.