The Arizona Memorial - December 7, 1941

Sadly and reverently we remember this day in History, 7 Dec. 1941.  I cannot say that the Attack on Pearl Harbor touches me more that it may touch you.  I can say that I have a better understanding of the emotion associated with visiting the Arizona Memorial as I have visited it and stood upon the deck of the Memorial Structure more than most.  Many of my former Shipmates and Friends chose and still choose today to re-enlist on the Memorial.  Countless times I have witnessed Americans of all colors and creeds wipe a tear or two from their checks as they stood in the wreath chamber and observe the over 1,000 names of Marines and Sailors who died there; many of which are interrned there as well.  Not once did I consider thinking or say aloud anything spiteful or derogatory about the ancestry of the people of that time in history. 

On many occasions while visiting the memorial; I also witnessed many Japanese visitors, some WWII Veterans, others not, weep as they too toured the Arizona Memorial.

I’d like to add; I found myself in Sasebo Japan in the Province of Nagasaki while on my last deployment in the Navy.  Although I was several miles from Ground Zero, I felt as much guilt and remorse as might a US Serviceman who witnessed the Bombing of the City of Nagasaki on 9 August 1945.  As a shipmate and I toured the city of Sasebo we asked an elderly lady for directions (to a place that I cannot recall).  She smiled genuinely and pointed us in the right direction.  I will not attempt to guess her age, but I felt sure she was a very close descendant of someone directly affected by the Atomic Bomb blast that killed more than 80,000 people.  I was extremely humbled and held much respect and regard for her action toward us that day.  Of course, she could have treated us differently.

So… I have now come to the point of what I’ve been beat around the bush; I don’t hate, blame, despise or shun anyone for what happened that infamous day.  Quite the opposite; I have several friends that are members of the present day Japanese Maritime Self-defense Force and other such Forces.  I’m sure, or this; if they had any of the afore mentioned feelings for me or my ancestors; we would not and could not be friends
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