Our visit to Pearl Harbor happened to be on the the weekend
of the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe day.
The day the Nazis surrendered in Germany in World War II.
It made our day there even more poignant.
"Those who have long enjoyed such privilege as we enjoy
forget in time that men have died to win them."
~Franklin D. Roosevelt
Bill of Rights Day, November 27, 1941
Being aboard The USS Arizona was both sobering and humbling.
Almost half of the casualties on that fateful day
occurred on this naval battleship.
Among the 1,177 crewmen who were killed in the attack
were 23 sets of brothers.
All 21 members of the Arizona's band, known as
U.S. Navy Band Unit 22 were killed.
Most of it's members were up on deck
to play music for the daily flag raising ceremony.
When the attack began they instantly moved
to man their battle positions
beneath the ship's gun turret.
At no other time in American history
has an entire military band died in action.
Since 1982, the U.S. Navy has allowed survivors to be interred
in the ship's wreckage upon their deaths.
A memorial was built at the USS Arizona site,
thanks in part to Elvis Presley.
In March 1961, Elvis, who had recently finished
a two-year stint in the U.S. Army,
performed a benefit concert at Pearl Harbor's Block Arena
that raised over $50,000.
The monument was officially dedicated on May 30, 1962,
and attracts more than a million visitors a year.
This was a serendipity moment.
Those who know me will know why.
Perhaps a distant relative of my husband?