Pearl Harbor is an unusual memorial site because it straddles the actual sunken ship that was destroyed off of Oahu. On December 7, 1941 the USS Arizona succumbed to a surprise Japanese attack, killing over 1,110 marines and sailors, almost everyone on board. For Memorial Day, I offer you these photos of the same harbor on a peaceful day in November.
When we visited this site a few years ago the sun was bright, and hot, the water was brilliant blue, and there was a strong breeze coming off the ocean. It was lively with tourists, gulls, flapping flags, and running children. I stood there at the water’s edge studying the map outlining the destruction and death of that devastating day. This calm water had been screaming with dropping bombs and explosions, the air was black with clouds of smoke and burning life. I was grateful it was the 21st century and Hawaii, for the moment, was tranquil and beautiful.
Here’s hoping your Memorial Day has peace, every day has peace. How do we practice peace? We smile a bit more to the passing stranger, pause a beat longer in a frustrating situation, and stretch our minds beyond our own lifestyle to give grace to the many different ways of being.
Photo credit: Athena Alexander