December 7, 1941


Conversation trails off even as the tour boat makes its way from the USS Arizona Memorial welcome center and out to the memorial on the far side of the harbor. A seaman tells us about the day that will live in infamy, then tells us about the memorial. We learn that it was built in 1962 and that its design by Alfred Preis (1911-1993) is very symbolic.


* The flag stands above the mast where flags flew aboard the ship.

* The slope of the roof represents the nation's descension and successive rise during the years of the war.

* The seven windows on either side and the roof represent a 21-gun salute to the fallen.

* The small windows at the far right admit sunlight to create the image of an olive branch, a peace offering.


I have wept aboard the memorial. More striking, I have seen Japanese tourists weep aboard the memorial. War is not to be entered into lightly. It is pain. It is death. It is destruction. It is all things evil. Let us pray that mankind learns to resolve its differences with a listening ear and a handshake.

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