USS Arizona Memorial – It happened today, 70 years ago, when the United States of America was attacked by Japan at the Pearl Harbor Naval Station near Honolulu, Hawaii.
Despite the swarms of people that come every day to visit the USS Arizona Memorial, the area that took the brunt of the Japanese attack is oddly silent.
There are only a few reminders of the devastation of that day in 1941. There’s little activity — just the tourists who have come to pay their respects to those who, in President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s words, died on that “date which will live in infamy.”
Early this morning the Pearl Harbor visitors begin lining up for the short U.S. Navy boat ride from the visitors center to the unimposing white monument that sits a few feet above the spot where the Japanese attackers found their mark, pounding the battleships, including the heroic USS Nevada and sinking the Arizona.
The Memorial is deceptively simple. It is a plain white monument repeating a story most visitors know all too well by the time they arrive.
Today, many of the declining number of survivors and their families will return to Pearl Harbor — just as many do year after year — to honor their fellow soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen who died there. They will observe a moment of silence at 7:53 a.m.