There will be few moments in life that really make an impact on you. For me, one of them was visiting Pearl Harbor in 1982. My cousin Jeannie lived on the island of Oahu so my Grandmother took me and my sister for 10 days to visit. I remember going to the Polynesian Cultural Center and learning about Hawaii, Fiji, Samoa and New Zealand. I learned the Hawaiian hula and the Tahitian hula and all sorts of cool things. I ate poi! I went to a luau. I learned Hawaiian words like "Mahalo" and "Wahini". It was a great trip. Then comes the day to visit Pearl Harbor. On our way I see a billboard for a Joan Jett and the Blackhearts concert. My 13 year old self is thinking, "why can't I go do that instead of visiting Pearl Harbor?" Sure glad that didn't happen.
This picture hangs in the museum near where you get on the boat to go out to the memorial. I stood in front of it for what seemed like forever. My grandmother tapped me on the shoulder to go get on the boat to head out to the memorial. There are glass windows on the floor where you can see the USS Arizona sitting on the bottom of the harbor. The memorial is built next to a smoke stack that has a ladder in it, descending into the blackness. There's oil still leaking out of the ship, leaving it's rainbow trail on the top of the water. Despite the fact there were hundreds of people on that memorial, everyone walked around with reverence, taking in the enormity of the ship and imagining it in all it's glory. The USS Arizona sits at the bottom of Pearl Harbor now, a rusting shell and a reminder of "a date that will live in infamy".
I stood in front of this picture again when we came back from the memorial. This time surrounded by the ghosts of the men and women that lost their lives that day. I still can't look at this picture and not be touched by it every single time.