Pearl Harbour

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July 19th 2006
Published: July 19th 2006
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Today was a very sobering experience as I visited the USS Arizona memorial in Pearl Habour it struck me as a little surreal but something about the place seemed very detached from what happened there, I can't actually put my finger on it maybe it was because I was British but when I think of the Killing Fields in Cambodia and the vivid reality of that I feel like there is some emotional connection missing in this memorial site. I must admit it felt strange and of course the names on the memorial are astonishing to look at as so many people perished on one vessel in such a quick period of time.

The actual memorial site is a really peaceful place and thnakfully most people can observe the rules about being quiet whilst on this area above the ship. The video which we watched beforehand could be longer and speak to people that had actually been involved or where around on that tragic day so that for some people a bit more emotional history is given to the whole area.

It was a experience that will stay with me for a long time no doubt and certain things
The Stars and StripesThe Stars and StripesThe Stars and Stripes

Flying above the memorial
that the ranger introduced us to gave me some of the things I wanted, They say for example that the oil which still leaks from the ship is called the Black Tears and until all the comrades from Pearl Harbour perish then the ship and the comrades lost there will continue to weep the Black Tears. All in all a great experience and the park is free which is comendable as I know I would certainly pay to enter this historic site.

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19th July 2006

Interesting Bruce...
I also felt a little 'out of phase' at the Arizona. It's an emotional tour, but through my historical retrospectoscope maybe not as moving as for someone who was alive on Dec 7th. I felt quite differently during a visit to Ground Zero in NYC this past May. Having been to the top of the WTC before and now looking at the big hole in the ground, I thought about what had happened there and the lives lost, knowing that those events resulted in me spending 18 months in Iraq and A'stan - it was all I could do to not break down in public. No disrespect to the people who lost their lives at PH, but most were military, on a military base or ship at a time when much of the world had been at war for a year and a half. At the WTC, those civilians were at their everyday jobs and completely unsuspecting. Not to mention the police and firemen who entered the burning buildings knowing they could lose everything at any moment, but still trying to rescue someone. Both moving places, but evocative of different feelings within me.

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