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Avenge_December_7

105th Anniversary of USS Arizona's Launch

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On June 19, 1915, 105 years ago, USS Arizona (BB-39) was launched.

Although the ship is chiefly known for its destruction on December 7, 1941 during the Japanese attack on Pearl harbor, the sinking of which killed 1177 of her crewmen, the ship did quite a bit during her 26 year career (read here for a more detailed explanation), from evacuating US citizens during the occupation of Smyrna to providing humanitarian aid in the aftermath of a March 1933 earthquake in Long Island, California.

Since the beginning of 2019, there were 5 survivors of USS Arizona that were still alive: Donald Stratton, Lou Conter, Ken Potts, Lonnie Cook, and Lauren Bruner. As of this post, only two remain: Lou Conter and Ken Potts, both 98 years old.

  • Lonnie Cook died on July 31, 2019.
  • Donald Stratton died on February 15, 2020.
  • Lauren Bruner died on September 10, 2019.

To this day, the wreck of USS Arizona leaks oil into the surrounding waters. It is said to be the ship's tears that weep for the lives lost on her that terrible Sunday more than 78 years ago.

The grim fact is that, likely within a couple of years at most, there will soon be the day where no survivors of USS Arizona remain alive. In 2018, no survivors were able to make the trip to Pearl Harbor for the commemoration ceremony. In 2019, only Lou Conter was able to attend.

Yet just as their deaths are mourned, we must also make sure that their lives and legacies are celebrated and memorialized as well.

May those brave men rest in peace and may their lives have not been lived and sacrificed in vain.

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Found a good one for ya! 

 

974727.png

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For me, visiting the USS Arizona Memorial was a humbling, profound experience. It's starkly simple features focus the attention on the name placards. The impact is hard to describe.

A buddy standing next to me asked me a question. To this day I don't recall what it was. I could not answer. At the time, I felt compelled to be silent. A rarity for me as my friends would laughingly testify.

I could not even be more than briefly irritated by the giggling, chattering tourists at the other end of the memorial. It was clear they were not in the same moment. That didn't matter. 

What was clear to me was that visiting that memorial should change you. If it doesn't, nothing personal but our common frame of reference ends at mere biology. 

 

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10 hours ago, Curly__san said:

For me, visiting the USS Arizona Memorial was a humbling, profound experience. It's starkly simple features focus the attention on the name placards. The impact is hard to describe.

A buddy standing next to me asked me a question. To this day I don't recall what it was. I could not answer. At the time, I felt compelled to be silent. A rarity for me as my friends would laughingly testify.

I could not even be more than briefly irritated by the giggling, chattering tourists at the other end of the memorial. It was clear they were not in the same moment. That didn't matter. 

What was clear to me was that visiting that memorial should change you. If it doesn't, nothing personal but our common frame of reference ends at mere biology. 

 

Well said.  When I went, there was no giggling/talking once people went inside.  It was so quiet.  For a couple of minutes, people didn't even take pictures.

 

 

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On 6/20/2020 at 12:36 AM, Curly__san said:

For me, visiting the USS Arizona Memorial was a humbling, profound experience. It's starkly simple features focus the attention on the name placards. The impact is hard to describe.

A buddy standing next to me asked me a question. To this day I don't recall what it was. I could not answer. At the time, I felt compelled to be silent. A rarity for me as my friends would laughingly testify.

I could not even be more than briefly irritated by the giggling, chattering tourists at the other end of the memorial. It was clear they were not in the same moment. That didn't matter. 

What was clear to me was that visiting that memorial should change you. If it doesn't, nothing personal but our common frame of reference ends at mere biology. 

 

 

There are few sites that exist today in the US that bring those kinds of emotions.

The site of the World Trade Center Towers, Arlington National Cemetery, Gettysburg Battlefield, USS Arizona to name a few. We know of them from history. For some of us, the events they participated in occurred during our lifetime. To actually be on the site, in the presence of those lost, and know what happened there can be a powerful experience.

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