All posts tagged: U.S.S. Arizona Memorial

Pearl Harbor Day

A couple of years ago I wrote a post called Why We Memorialize and Remember Sacred Places on the reasoning behind my decision to cite December 7, 1941, as my top candidate deserving of the descriptor “The day the world changed forever.” I thought it would be a good post to share again – here on Pearl Harbor Day.  Memorials are about memory, which is “an essential part of consciousness” as quoted in my colleague Tom Mayes’ series of essays on Why Do Old Places Matter? In this day and age, we glorify the individual and forget that it is the collective – the community – that holds us together.  Places such as the U.S.S. Arizona memorial – and I would argue the Waikiki Natatorium War Memorial – are indeed “places where moments in personal history become part of the flow of collective history.”  History that transcends individual experiences and lifetimes. It is important to remember that we are judged not just by what we build, but by what we choose to save and remember …

Why We Memorialize and Remember Sacred Places

Few single events in history truly deserve the descriptor “The day the world changed forever.” My top candidate?  December 7, 1941. As the son of a World War II naval veteran, I had long heard about the impact of that day on my parents as well as my aunts and uncles – most of whom served in the war.  When I became a student of history, I read about the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and felt the sacrifice made by the men and women who woke up on a beautiful Sunday morning in Hawaii and then – at 7:52 a.m. when the first bombs landed – had their lives shattered forever. And as I think of the years that followed that “date which will live in infamy” – the engagement of the entire world in a horrific war; the dawn of the atomic age; the rise of the United States, the Soviet Union, and China; the growth of the military-industrial complex; the changes in how we view civil liberties – the impacts seem infinite. …