The incandescent Sunday morning of 7th December, 1941 on the shores of O’ahu started like any other day but ended in despair. The morning stillness was broken by the roar of Japanese aircrafts. It was a surprise military strike by the Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii territory. “Tora! Tora! Tora!” were the Japanese code words that signaled the surprise is complete; The first wave of low flying planes attacked just before 0755 and the second wave struck an hour later. By 0955 the attack was over and so were the lives of thousands. Today, 7th December, 2016, exactly 75 years after the attack, I am remembering the day of infamy.
A visit to Pearl Harbor
I am sharing with you all about my experience of visiting the Pearl Harbor few days back.
The trip started with a short video about the surprise attack and its consequences.
The trip to the Arizona Memorial Site
Thereafter, we boarded a boat to go to the Arizona memorial site.
The Arizona Memorial Site
This memorial honors hundreds of crew of USS Arizona and also who lost their lives in the devastating attack which forced America into world war II.
Beneath this memorial, over 900 brave men are in deep slumber forever inside the sunken battleship.
The picture below is not only just the part of the sunken ship, but the remains of the agony, inhumanity and broken dreams alive in front of us.
The shrine room of the Arizona Memorial Site
The shrine room displays the names of 1,177 Arizona Crewmen lost in the attack and also honors the Arizona survivors who have rejoined their shipmates in the water below.
On the premises of Pearl Harbor
I came back to the shore with a prayer in my heart. A prayer to almighty, to stop all the wars which are still breaking dreams, taking away the lives of thousands in Syria, in Yemen, in Palestine, in Somalia, in Iraq and the list is endless.
Exhibitions on the Pearl Harbor
We visited two exhibitions on the Pearl Harbor surprise attack after coming back from the memorial site. There I read a quote that made me reflect for long, from President Franklin D.Roosevelt, Bill of Rights Day, November 27, 1941.
Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them.
It was too intense. The misery of war and its after effects engulfed my mind, and I wanted to leave the premises. I feel war is a result of the failure of man – the thinking animal.
Inside the exhibition at Pearl Harbor
Another memorial on the Pearl Harbor
I went towards the sea and sat quietly for uncounted minutes. That place too displayed names of victims; hundreds of them! With a heavy breath I told “no more” and I left. Why can’t we learn from history? Why war again and again and again?
My wishes to America
My warm wishes to you America- one of the strongest countries in the world. Let not dark clouds engulf your thoughts. You soar high with knowledge, empathy and humanity.