This morning, my wife and I hiked in the Estrella Mountains, here in Arizona. When we hike, neither of us says very much. We have plenty of time to think about projects, upcoming trips, and the usual flotsam and jetsam that flows through one’s mind. As we were walking, I remembered that today is the 72nd anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. I was reminded of the sacrifices that were made by those Americans who became the first victims of the War in the Pacific. I cannot tell the stories of the War in the Pacific with the accuracy and eloquence of my blogging friend, GPCox. If you are interested in the history of the US in the Pacific, you can find his blog at http://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com/. I highly recommend you check out his blog posts.
The namesake of the state, the USS Arizona was one of the major casualties that terrible day. A few years back, we visited Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona memorial. I have included a gallery of images from the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, Hawai’i. Regular readers may recall some of these images from late October when I submitted them in a photo challenge featuring images that are eerie. I have also added some additional images to fill out the portfolio.
On December 7, 1941, around 8 AM, a General Quarters alarm was sounded on the USS Arizona. Waves of Japanese aircraft were dropping tons of ordinance on targets in and around the naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawai’i. Somewhere around eight bombs struck the Arizona, but her death blow came when a bomb pierced the deck and fell through to the ordinance bay. The massive explosion sunk the Arizona where it docked and ultimately killed 1177 of the over 1400 men who were onboard the ship.
After the attack, the upper parts of the superstructure were removed and guns mounted on shore as a battery to defend the Hawaiian coastline. What remains of the ship barely rises above the surface. To this day, oil from the engine bay still slowly seeps to the surface of the water, spreading a silky rainbow pattern as the oil drifts with the currents. In 1962, a permanent memorial honoring the crew lost on that day of infamy was erected over the ship’s remains.
Old Glory waves in the breeze over the resting place of the servicemen of the USS Arizona.
This post is dedicated to those who have served, those who are serving, and those who will serve to preserve, protect and defend our country.