The USS Arizona Memorial

It’s a strange feeling to be standing on the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. Beneath your feet is a sunken battleship in which 1,277 sailors are interred. That is roughly half the total U.S. casualties from the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

The island of O’ahu has numerous military and naval bases, roughly 21% of the total land area. That includes not only Pearl Harbor itself, but Fort De Russy on Waikiki, Schofield Barracks, Hickam Air Force Base, Dillingham Field, Fort Shafter, and a whole host of others.

In fact, if there is anywhere on American soil that is a center of World War Two commemoration, it would have to be O’ahu. There have been at least four films made about the attack:

  • From Here to Eternity (1953) with Burt Lancaster and Montgomery Clift
  • Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) with an American and Japanese Cast
  • Pearl Harbor (2001) directed by Michael Bay
  • Midway (2019), which begins with the attack on Pearl Harbor

There have also been numerous books on the subject. (And there still continue to be.) No doubt about it, America is still stuck on WW2.

When Martine and I visit Honolulu later this summer, we will spend a day going over all the exhibits and taking the shuttle over to the Arizona Memorial, as we did back in 1996. No doubt a lot has changed since then.