Remembering Pearl Harbor

Unfortunately I don’t have my pictures of Pearl Harbor available, so this Hawaiian sunrise will have to suffice for now.

Hawaiian sunrise

Every year on this day I go back in my memory and remember sailing the USS Mobile (LKA 115) into Pearl Harbor. Emotions were strong as we passed by the USS Arizona Memorial and rendered honors. Passing in silence, the simple salute from the sailors lining the deck some how seemed inadequate, yet hauntingly appropriate.

I have been back to Pearl Harbor only one time since. My second time was even more emotional. Probably because my father-in-law, Bill Hicks, a navy veteran himself, was with us. He has since gone to his heavenly home. We tailored our trip so that we could take him to visit the Memorial. He did not serve at Pearl Harbor, but every sailor I know wants to visit, at least once, to pay tribute and to render honors to the brave servicemen who gave their lives on what began as a peaceful morning in paradise, perhaps like the one pictured above, and ended as the worst nightmare in American military history.

It has been forty years since I was helmsman on the USS Mobile sailing by the USS Arizona. I remember. I remember like it was yesterday.