Friday, December 7, 2007

Pearl Harbor Day

Wow. I feel incredibly emotional about Pearl Harbor Day today. I am not sure why, but I just do.

I feel like in our society, it's become an antiquated, forgotten holiday--Something our parents/grandparents celebrate and remember, but way too far in the past for us. Looking at the calendar I have hanging up, it's not even listed (but thank goodness I know when the Emperor's Birthday is in Japan [the 23rd of Dec; observed on the 24th this year ]. I am not quite sure how I would survive without that bit of information)

I'm saddened that we as a country and society do not remember. We don't have to necessarily remember each death (2390 of them) or all of those wounded (1178), but I think we can at least stick a tiny line on our calendars. Maybe we could remember the 37 sets of brothers and a set of father/son that were stationed on the USS Arizona. Maybe you want to remember the 64 members of the Japanese Navy that were killed. Maybe you like to remember the passionate kiss that happened in the movie Pearl Harbor. Any kind of remembrance works.

I tend to favor the USS Arizona memorial as a remembrance. As Alfred Preis, its architect said, "Wherein the structure sags in the center but stands strong and vigorous at the ends, expresses initial defeat and ultimate victory....The overall effect is one of serenity. Overtones of sadness have been omitted to permit the individual to contemplate his own personal responses...his innermost feelings."

The quote about its architecture is so true to me. It's not an overly depressing or sad-looking building. It's definitely not imposing or dramatic. It is a serene, simple, and understated memorial, but it is a very powerful one. I love this picture of the Memorial, with the shadow of the ship visible. My "emotional response" is so strong I sometimes want to cry over this picture. Don't ask me why. Maybe it's because the first memory I have of this place is one I share with my Grandparents, who instilled within my mother, and then me an incredibly strong sense of pride in my country and patriotism. More likely, though, it's because of all the young (and old) men that lie entombed at the bottom of this memorial, lives utterly wasted if we forget them.


About us! said...

We really like your blog Latu!!

Christopher and Alicia said...

That was a sweet entry and reminder - and, as usual, it made me smile, which is good too. =)