As a Naval Officer who has served in Pearl Harbor, the #pearlharbor
memorial stuff is always pretty intense for me. You start imagining that happening on your own ship, seeing your friends and shipmates die, heroism, desperation, explosions, etc. You know what would really suck? Being trapped in a damaged compartment and drowning. I’ve cried at that museum a few times. And all the years I’ve lived in Hawai‘i, I’ve always missed the Pearl Harbor anniversary events. I was pissed last year that I was away on travel and that the admiral, in uniform, representing the US government, used his comments memorializing the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor to criticize private citizens expressing their constitutionally protected right to free speech ( #vetsforkaepernick).
BUT, this year I finally wandered over on my lunch break and had a long and awesome conversation with a guy who was in the bowels of USS TENNESSEE (BB-43) that day, moored right in front of ARIZONA, and who later dodged death again when his transfer to a submarine that was lost at sea didn’t go through. He and the other boilermen got that ship ready to get underway, but they were trapped by the sunken WEST VIRGINIA. There are less of these dudes every year. And also today, one of the last survivors of the ARIZONA was laid to rest with his shipmates, interred aboard the sunken hulk (though I missed all the actual ceremony and memorial events).