Inside the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor on Oahu, visitors leave leis and other flowers in tribute to the sailors who gave their lives when Pearl Harbor was attacked Dec. 7, 1941. This anniversary,which President Franklin Roosevelt called “a date that will live in infamy,” gained new meaning for my family and me since we first saw the memorial and were rendered speechless.
This is a beautiful memorial straddling the wrecked keel of the Arizona. Visitors can look down through a gap in the base of the memorial and see the shadowy hulk below. The leis float on water which shimmers faintly as oils is still seeping slowly up from the hull. The light from the waves below reflects in wave patterns on the walls of the memorial all around the visitors, as if they are also enveloped in a watery tomb.