She is still there, in the same place she was on a balmy Sunday morning back in 1941. The daily routine was underway, sailors were doing the things sailors do on a quiet Sunday morning in port.
All that changed forever when aircraft of the Imperial Japanese Navy slid into their attack profiles. Bombs fell, torpedoes entered the water, strafing runs commenced. Americans began to die.
When it was over, a heavy pall lay over this most beautiful of islands. Death and destruction were left in the wake of the departing Japanese.
USS Arizona lay shattered on the harbor floor, most of her crew still on board. Dead on her bridge were her captain, Franklin Van Valkenburgh and the Commander of Battleship Division One, Isaac Campbell Kidd. Both of whom were posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions that day.
Also awarded the Medal of Honor was Arizona’s Damage Control Officer Samuel Glenn Fuqua, who survived the war and eventually retired as a Rear Admiral (Lower Half).
But she is still there, as is her admiral, her captain and her crew. Spare a thought this day for them. For the USS Arizona and the 1,102 men who still lie entombed within her. Spare a thought for all those who lost their lives that day in defense of freedom.
December 7th, 1941. Indeed a date which will live in infamy. But back then we Americans knew how to shoulder the load. We knew how to fight back with pride and with honor. We stood together in those days.
Nowadays, not so much. I pray that we are not living in a time which will live in infamy. But I think we are.