Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pearl Harbor

Visiting Pearl Harbor is one of the most indescribably, touching moments an American can do. We have all heard so much about it, we each will have our own feeling and opinion about it but it will be changed and enhanced when you visit it.

We got our opportunity to do so this month and LuAnn spotted a gentleman sitting on a bench with Pearl Harbor Survivor written on his cap. She struck up a conversation with him and found out he was a medic stationed there the day of the attack, December 7, 1941. He treated the many burn victims he came in contact with that infamous day. Can you imagine?

He turned out to be Richard, "Dick" Waring, one of the survivors left in Oregon and introduced LuAnn to his wife of 67 years. Their daughter was there and told us he has only been able to talk about the day the last 6 or 7 years. Think about that for awhile, that is even harder to imagine.

It turned out his daughter had worked at Meade Paper in Chillicothe, Ohio and knew our area well. This impromptu meeting changed the experience for LuAnn as it did me and everyone one who visits the memorial.

The half a million gallons of diesel fuel on the loaded ship has been seeping out into the bay ever since the sinking of the Arizona and is said to be the tears of the dead that will stop once peace is for evermore.

I thought about my uncle in the Navy headed for Guam on a crowded ship and what it must have been like. I thought about dad and his family at home in Sardinia, 26 years old and farming with grandpa, huddled around the big radio in the old house I was raised in, listening to the news of the event.

The attack changed the face of America and the world that day as every man, woman and child worked towards the defeat of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.

The memorial is very well done and a very special place that will have a special impact on each person who visits it.

I am so glad we finally got to visit her.


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