"December 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” — Franklin Delano Roosevelt
The attack caught America by surprise, killing 2,400 Americans, sinking 12 ships and destroying 188 aircraft -- and triggering U.S. entry into World War II. In fact, the U.S. declared war on Japan the following day when FDR made the above quote.
Seventy-one years ago today the United States was drawn into World War II when Pearl Harbor was attacked. While this was before I was born, it is still a date that is impossible for me to forget.
Ceremonies mark the anniversary today. Among those will be a special tribute to the battleship Arizona, which exploded and sank during the attack, killing more than 1,100 officers and servicemen aboard. The ship's hull remains at the bottom of Pearl Harbor, marked by the USS Arizona Memorial overhead.
These pictures were taken during a visit to the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial during a cruise vacation to Hawaii. The background of this image is the oil slick which still rises to the surface of the water around the memorial.
These images remain in my mind several years after our visit. We were so moved by our visit, we went back the next day for a second visit.
Out of respect to the Sailors and Marines entombed below, visitors are asked to remain silent during their visit. The silence adds to the eerie atmosphere at the memorial.
Visiting Hawaii by cruise ship is a great way to see the islands. Instead of making your own arrangements to move from one island to another, the cruise itinerary is already planned for you. All you need to decide is what excursions you want to do on your own or with a group. You can choose from a 7-night itinerary on Norwegian Cruise Line's Pride of America or a longer cruise, typically 14 or 15 night Circle Cruise which starts somewhere in California, goes to Hawaii and returns.
Cruise vacations to Hawaii, often start or end in Honolulu, Oahu. I would encourage you to visit the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial during your visit there. It is even more moving when you visit on or around December 7th.
For more information about U.S.S. Arizona Memorial and today's events, see the National Park Service website.