Wednesday, December 7, 2016

may we never forget.

i've had the incredible opportunity to travel the country
and visit many of our American memorials.
each carry with them a different memory.
each commemorate different lives that were forever changed 
from the course of their events,
and each are all equally important to appreciating & understanding 
the great blessing of our freedom.
for those reasons alone,
i love them all.
but one in particular has always stood at the top of my list.

when i was 13 years old i visited pearl harbor for the first time.
i was young & naive to so many things,
but could feel the difference this one had over the others i had seen.
{if you've never been, i highly recommend the trip.}
there is an unspoken reverence that surrounds it.
perhaps because most of the other memorials i've visited are something you walk up to.
not emotionally, of course, but physically.
you drive up and get out of the car and go up to it and read a plaque and reflect.
if you're in dc, you walk from place to place.
but in order to get to the uss arizonia memorial,
visitors first must watch a film about the events of december 7, 1941,
and then are ushered to a boat that will take them out to where it sits.
respect and reflection aren't merely suggested at pearl harbor,
they are demanded.

once your boat arrives at the memorial,
you don't hear the normal chatter and bustle that surrounds a "tourist" zone.
kids don't run around unattended,
people aren't laughing to shoot the breeze,
comments to those around you are almost always made in a hushed whisper 
worthy of a church chapel,
as ships are ushered in and out of the harbor,
all those aboard come up to the deck and salute as they sail by...
it's as if everyone, even the smallest of us all, 
understand where they stand and what that means.

earlier this year i was able to take my 3rd visit to pearl harbor 
since that original day as a 13 year old girl,
and this was the one that hit me the most.
i remember when i was younger interviewing a couple dear to my family's love 
who was in honolulu that day,
and hearing their recollection and how their lives changed forever.
i think often times we are thankful for the sacrifices of those who serve,
but we cannot truly comprehend what it means.
and when we begin to try,
it seems like there isn't enough gratitude in the world to give.

may we never forget the events of 75 years ago today,
and the lives affected.
and may we build a future that forever honors them.


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