Tag Archive | "Pearl Harbor"

The Way We Were

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With the change in the weather brings thoughts of spring after a long hard winter. It’s the time of year when Mother Nature ushers in the birth of all things; it’s a time to reminisce.


They say that with age comes wisdom, and rightly so.  But after experiencing a lifetime upon which to reflect, I wonder where we went wrong … particularly since it seemed to start out right.


My formative years were spent in South Philadelphia, where I grew up in an ethnically diverse neighborhood during the Great Depression.  Life was hard during that Depression, but it was also much simpler.  Then, my family’s chief concerns were the basics of life: food, shelter, and clothing.  The family, in fact, was the center of our existence.


Sharing my joys and sorrows with my brothers and parents gave me, and indeed, all of us, a sense of unity and security.  Dad supplied the needs of the family while Mom managed the household duties.  Religion also was part of our lives.  It helped to mold our characters by instilling humility and kindness into our lives.


Although times were hard, life was not unpleasant.  Family outings and visits to friends and relatives, punctuated with much laughter and good times, brought peace and serenity to our lives.  I guess you really could call them “the good old days.”


During the Great Depression, we had few amenities such as people enjoy today. The main modes of travel were automobiles and public transportation. There was no air conditioning back then, and no one had a telephone in his or her home.  Health insurance had yet to emerge, and television had yet to be invented.  Credit cards were still a thing of the future.  Yet, we all survived.


We did have gas appliances, hot water, and forced-air heat. For entertainment, we had Victrolas™, local movie houses, and the radio.  This was the Golden Age of Radio.  The music was good, and the radio also offered mystery stories, such as The Shadow, that sent chills up the spines of every single family member.  We looked forward to gathering around the radio for fun.


Other forms of entertainment were really up to the individual.  We walked and hiked to explore our world.  We played street games or listened to a public concert at a local park, which made life more pleasant.  I can clearly recall sitting by the Wissahickon Creek on warm summer afternoons, listening as the water rushed and gurgled through the valley.  That is a fond, lasting memory for me.


Then something happened that would forever change our lives: World War II came along.  With the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, America was plunged into war and many young people grew up overnight.  In the process, thousands of men from ages 18 to 45 years old were conscripted into the military.  In the work force, particularly in the factories, women stepped in to fill the shoes of the men drafted into service. 


Those were the days when the patriotic spirit of America flourished throughout the land. War bond sales and Hollywood stars joined forces to defeat our enemies.  USOs sprang up around the nation to offer a home away from home to our servicemen.


After four and a half years of bloody war, America emerged victorious on September 2, 1945.  The introduction of the atomic bomb put an end to the conflict and propelled the troops to return home.  There, we tried to pick up the pieces of our lives and move on into the future.


The immediate postwar years were bleak.  There was too much manpower and not enough jobs.  Factory wages were less than $2.00 an hour and the need for housing to accommodate newlyweds was on the horizon.


As we slowly moved into the future, enterprising real estate developers, such as Levitt in Pennsylvania, offered burgeoning new families modest dwellings in suburban locations, thus creating the exodus of many city dwellers to suburbia.  Along with the introduction of television, this industry spurred our economy with the need for more jobs to satisfy the wants of new home buyers.  Happy days were here again!


The fly in the ointment was the banking industry.  Back then, banks followed stringent standards when supplying loans to people without collateral.  A rule of thumb in procuring a loan was that one week of the loan recipient’s monthly income had to cover his mortgage payment.


Enterprising businessmen saw the opportunity of establishing credit to these borrowers, by offering store credit cards.  It seemed a good solution to the problem.  Hence, the system of credit scores evolved.  As we continued to move into the future, the economy improved, bringing more jobs and higher wages.


America was on a roller coaster ride.  We climbed high and exuberantly as Wall Street experienced record sales with an inflated economy.  However, the threat of financial collapse waited around the bend.  The ride, you see, was dictated by banking institutions and the very watchful eyes of the government.  The banks had to remain prudent in their lending practices; in turn, those practices were to be monitored by the SEC (Securities Exchange Commission).  Obviously, the banks and the government loosened their vigilance, for in September of 2008, we experienced another crash on Wall Street.


Barbara Streisand once had a hit song bearing the same title as this article.  Her haunting words still ring in my ears, “What’s too painful to remember is so very hard to forget.”  That just about says it all.


As I sit typing this article of reminiscence about the America in which I grew up, and the America in which we live today, I recall the Native American portrayed in a poignant, old commercial.  A tear ran down his face as he watched this beautiful land turn into a garbage dump.  Indeed, “where did we go wrong?” 


The Strange Saga of Private Joseph A. Ermilio

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Have you ever had the experience in which you’d met a person for the first time and felt as if you had known him or her before?  Here in the States, we deem this a form of psychic phenomenon; the French call such occurrences deja vu.   No matter what you choose to call it, the experience leaves you a bit awestruck, and perhaps more than a bit.  You realize that life is not random, that it has a pattern, and even a purpose.  And sometimes you realize that, through your experience, you are meant to share what you have learned with others for an even higher purpose.  That is my aim in sharing this true tale with you.


My own deja vu begins in South Philadelphia, when I was boy during the 1930’s. Growing up in the vicinity of 10th and Ritner Streets, my contemporaries and I were, for the most part, the children of hard-working, God-fearing immigrants.  Life was pleasant in my boyhood.  It would be years before the streets of Philadelphia were choked with cars, so it was easy for the kids in the neighborhood to have some good, clean fun playing stickball and other games in the streets.  Although I had my own circle of friends, I also had those “familiar strangers” that we all have in our lives.  Mine were the boys with whom I attended the same school.  I’d see them in the halls and around the neighborhood; although I’d recognized many faces and had casual encounters with the owners of those faces, I was “tight,” as we say today, with my own group.


In the blink of an eye, a single event forever changed my life as well as many other lives — an event that forced boys to become men overnight.  On the morning of December 7th, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, thus providing our President, FDR, with the impetus to enter the United States into that long, bloody campaign known as World War II. I was not yet of military age, and neither were most of my friends and peers.  But as the war dragged on and more birthdays passed, Uncle Sam caught up with us via the draft.


One of the boys drafted from my South Philly neighborhood was Joseph A. Ermilio.  While Joseph was not a close friend of mine, I knew him from the neighborhood.  Enlisted into the Army on April 22, 1943, he trained as infantry and was not the first member of his family to serve his country in WWII; his brother Vincent was drafted in July of 1942.  After fifteen weeks of basic training, Joseph was slated to see active duty in the European theater.  There, he found himself in the heat of an invasion of Italy’s coast, near the resort towns of Anzio and Nettuno.


There is an Old Italian saying attesting to the beauty of Naples: “Vedi Napoli, poi morire” translates to,  “See Naples, then die.”  Unfortunately, during World War II, many American soldiers did just that.


In the predawn hours of January 22, 1944, British and American forces stormed the beautiful beaches in a flawless attack that caught the German defenders completely off guard.  Their high command had never expected an invasion in the months of January or February.  One paratrooper attached to the 82nd Airborne Division remarked, “It was a warm, sunny day and you could hardly believe that there was a war going on — and that I was in the middle of it.”


Securing the beaches, the Allies drove the Germans inland, then stopped to regroup.  This small pause in our offense allowed the Germans to counterattack, with a vengeance.  In next four months, the Allied troops would see some of the most savage fighting in this war.


It was during this time that Joseph became a casualty of war, listed as killed in action. At home, the news of his death spread throughout the neighborhood.  By the time Japan had surrendered to the Allies, Joseph A. Ermilio would be the sole casualty of all the South Philly neighborhood boys who had served in WW II.


With the war ending, all of the neighborhood boys, who were now men who’d served our country, gathered at the corner of 10th and Ritner to form a Social Club, which we called Club Gramercy.  As time passed, we all got married and drifted apart, as people do when they assume family life and the obligations that accompany it.


Many years later, in 1986 to be exact, two members of our club, Baby Joe Carabasi and Tony Griffoni, ran into each other in a supermarket in the Greater Northeast section of Philadelphia.  They vowed to get the old gang back together by networking through people that they both knew.  Baby Joe and Tony cobbled together a list, a list upon which the names of the original fifty-four club members emerged. In October of 1986, the first meeting of the Boys Of 10th and Ritner (nee, Club Gramercy) was held at Vitale’s Restaurant in Northeast Philadelphia.


Over the years, my friends and fellow soldiers celebrated a ten-year anniversary at the Coastline Restaurant in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Today, we are but a handful of that old gang and do not meet as often as we did.  But we do keep in touch.  In the many meetings we attended together, one name always came up whenever we would discuss what we’d seen and done overseas, during the war. That name was Chatty Joe Ermilio, a nickname given to Joseph by one of the neighborhood boys.  In my youth, South Philly was famous for nicknames in our crowd.  We had Nicky Blue, Baby Joe, Happy Joe and Happy Joe Jr., Duke Campisi, Fishy Yellow Gooney Ercolani, and many more monikers that would bring a smile to your face, as they did to ours.


As a writer for this website, I have contributed stories of my experiences, including tales of some of the people who have touched my life.  These stories, which you can find here, include An American Hero and The Boys of 10th and Ritner.  At the beginning of this particular story, I had promised to explain my deja vu experience, and I’m going to make good on that promise.


In researching some of the material and quotes for my articles, I came across a man named Joseph, who commented on An American Hero.  He said he was directed to my article when he entered his name into Google, and the search engine indicated this website.  It turned out that this Joseph was the namesake of his Uncle Joseph A. Ermilio — the same person whose name appeared in the article I had written, the uncle who had died protecting our freedoms in World War II.


Since then, I have spoken with Joseph A. Ermilio II and learned that he has a son who also carries the same name.  Joseph the II wanted to keep alive the memory alive of an uncle that he and his son had never known.  He told me that he is the oldest living member of his family, and had little knowledge of his uncle, but for the fact that he died an unsung hero on an Italian beach in World War II.  As fate would have it, the Internet directed him to find some history of his uncle in an article written by me, the boy who had once shared the same neighborhood, a wider circle of friends, and service to our country with that uncle.



Joseph the II also told me that his parents and grandparents had moved out of South Philly to Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, and that Upper Darby is where he’d spent his youth.  His grandparents never experienced closure for their son’s death, even though the soldier’s remains were returned to American soil in 1948.  They brought their unease with them when they, too, were laid to rest, leaving Joseph the II to ponder the life of his namesake.


In my conversation with Joseph the II, I gave him a list of contacts that could shed more light on his uncle’s early days of growing up in South Philly.  I reminded him not to wait too long to contact the other members of club, because time is not on our side.  He said he’d spoken with Joe DeGenova, who is mailing him information.


Was it fate, deja vu, or the hand of Providence that allowed me to connect with a direct relative of the only boy who never returned to our neighborhood from the war?  Was it technology that enabled many intervening years between my boyhood and the present day to collapse for a brief moment, even as those years expanded to illustrate how Joseph A. Ermilio still lives on in his bloodline, through descendents hungry for information about the infantryman who had died on the soil of his ancestors?  Or was it Joseph himself, reaching out from the great beyond to direct his nephew, in effect, to me — knowing that nephew was searching for answers? 


As I ponder these questions, I have no real answers.  However, it is hard to believe that a story I wrote could have such a dramatic ending.   In the final analysis, I don’t think that this was a coincidence.  I feel that this seemingly chance encounter with Joseph the II contains a message for the American people. I believe the message is to remember those who took risks and offered the supreme sacrifice in protecting the freedoms we too often take for granted.  There are certain times during the year, such as Memorial Day, that our nation sets aside for just this purpose.  Too often, we enjoy that holiday as a time to relax, forgetting why we really have the day off and who, in effect, gave us that day.



The Boys of 10th and Ritner

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My friends and I grew up in a culturally diverse neighborhood in South Philadelphia, near the intersection of 10th and Ritner Streets.  Our childhood occurred during the Great Depression, a time of immense want for so many people.  Somehow, though, I remember it with fondness, as do my friends.  In the ’30’s (that would be the 1930’s for anyone who hasn’t studied American history as you should), the streets of the city were not clogged with automobiles or choked with smog; public transportation was the mode of travel.  To us kids, life was pleasant as our parents struggled to eke out an existence, keep the roofs over our heads, and food on our plates.


To get to our neighborhood schools, we wore out a lot of shoe leather; there were no buses to transport us.  We carried our books, pencils, and papers, as well as our tasty homemade lunches (no prepackaged chemical and preservative-laden stuff from a factory). After school, we would walk home and play in the street before suppertime.  The boys would play stickball or tag; the girls would write in the streets with chalk, play hopscotch, and tend to their baby dolls.  Occasionally, one of the girls would cross the line and we’d let her, provided she could hit, run, and throw … the ball, not us!  Gender equality had not yet fully blossomed, so we may have been just a bit ahead of our time for enduring the tomboys.


After our playtime, which cost little or no money, we did not waste electricity and did not fry our brain cells a la cellular technology.  Instead, we knuckled down to do our homework, sans Internet search engines and computers.  If we really needed to research a topic, we had the public library at our fingertips.  Rooms and rooms of wall-to-wall books, and nary a coffee urn or a gourmet pastry to be found!  And no chatting, either; it was “Silence is Golden” at the library, so that everyone could study in peace and quiet.  Before snuggling into bed for the night, we listened with rapt attention to radio programs designed to scare the pants off us kids (e.g., “The Shadow”).  Ah, the thrill of a delicious mystery conducted sight unseen over the airwaves!


Later on, a cataclysmic event occurred that would forever would change our lives. When the Japanese attacked us at Pearl Harbor, America was dragged into World War II.  Some say that Roosevelt had advance warning of the attack, but allowed it to happen anyway, in order to better market the war to the American public.  We knew of no such rumor at the time; in fact, such a rumor would have been unthinkable.  All we knew is that our beautiful Hawaii had been bombed, with no prior attack on our part.  Everyone in my neighborhood was left reeling; in fact, most of us were unaware of exactly where Pearl Harbor was located, until the radio broadcast the stunning news.  Congress dove into action by initiating the Draft to conscript young men into the Armed Forces.  Factories and shipyards began to retool, run primarily by women as the men went overseas, to produce the materials and equipment we needed to wage war.  Japan had woken a sleeping giant.


When the bombs destroyed Pearl Harbor and so many lives, a lot of us kids were not quite military age, so it would be a few years before we were called.  But as the war progressed with no end in sight, we knew it was inevitable: as soon as we’d reached the age of 18, we would receive a notice from our local Draft Board. This was the summons to appear for medical and mental competency tests, to see if we were going to be accepted into the Armed Forces.   According to our ages, one by one, the neighborhood boys were swept off the streets by Uncle Sam, thus forcing us to become men practically overnight.  Since many of us passed the tests, we entered the Armed Services and remained there until the end of World War II.


During this global conflict, members of our neighborhood group fought in both the North African/European and the Pacific Theaters.  Some fought in Tunisia, Normandy, and the Battle of the Bulge; some were shipped off to the Pacific and China, as well as India, Burma, and following Japan’s surrender, the Occupation of Japan, as peacekeeping forces.


To mention a few of our friends, Nicky (“Blue”) Prestipino fought with Merrill’s Marauders in Burma, Andy Scrocca helped save the USS Intrepid after a kamikaze attack upon that noble ship, Jimmy Tedesco was wounded at the battle of the Bulge, Anthony Didio was awarded the Soldiers Medal in India, and Joe Ermilio was killed in action at Anzio.  Thank God, he was only casualty of the war, and he was very much missed and mourned.


With the end of the War, the neighborhood boys returned and began to congregate once again on the corner of 10th and Ritner.  Trying to recapture the best years of our lives lost due to the war, we decided to form a social club named Club Gramercy.  As time went by, we all got married and drifted away to pursue new lives with our spouses and ultimately, our children.


In the spring of 1986, two members of Club Gramercy met across a meat counter in a Greater Northeast Supermarket and talked about getting the old gang back together again.  Those two men were Joe (“Baby Joe”) Carabasi and Tony Griffini.  By networking with other members, Joe and Tony managed to contact 54 former members of Club Gramercy!  In October of 1986, at Viterelli’s Restaurant in the Greater Northeast section of Philadelphia, the first meeting of the Boys of 10th and Ritner occurred with all 54 members attending.  We had a joyous reunion!


Back in the old neighborhood, news of the Boys of 10th and Ritner spread, and more people clamored for membership, or at least, attendance at our gatherings.  We decided to have more meetings in the old neighborhood at the Holiday Inn, in South Philly, to accommodate larger groups.  This went on for a few years, after which it was decided to have our meetings more often and in a less formal fashion.  The site for these meetings was Sam Cobblestone’s Bar and Grill, where we met every second Tuesday of each month.


At Sam’s, we’d gather and for a few short hours, would share a dinner and relive our past exploits of glory. John Carosiello would chair the meetings and Romeo Celommi served as our recording secretary.  Our meal would start with an appetizer, usually mussels (in red and white sauce) with roasted peppers and anchovies; these were accompanied by fresh, hot Italian rolls, and were followed by the main course from the menu.


After dinner, the chairman would inform us about members who could not attend and any other news that concerned us.  After all the formalities were discussed, the meeting would be open to conversation by the members as we relived our youth.  This included jokes by the aptly named Happy Joe Jr. and stories by “Baby Joe” Carabasi, Nicky (“Blue”) Prestipino, Jimmy (“Pinerck”) Tedesco, and others among our band of brothers.


Although most of our members were of Italian descent, we did have one member of the Jewish faith.  Danny Rose, God bless him, could bake Italian pizzelles that would rival many Italian bakeries (pizzelles are a type of flat, crunchy cookie, pressed flat in a hot grill). Our meetings continued till Sam Cobblestone’s establishment closed.  Bidding Sam’s a bittersweet farewell, we then took up the torch at Tony Luke’s restaurant in South Philly on Saturday afternoons. As time went on, we started to gather at Serra Torres restaurant in Morton, Pennsylvania.


In 1996, The Boys of 10th and Ritner held our 10th Anniversary at the Coastline Restaurant in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. The members who participated, along with their wives, stood as a testimony to friendship born of a group of neighborhood boys who refused, despite a long, bloody war and various life circumstances, to let the camaraderie die.


Since then, God has called some of our boys home; due to attrition, our meetings have reduced in frequency and members.  But the spirit of the old neighborhood, and the good times we wrested out of some the worst times this nation has ever seen, still live on in the hearts of the remaining members of The Boys of 10th and Ritner. 

A Pearl Harbor Day Apology

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Pearl Harbor Day

The island of Oahu, in Hawaii’s archipelago, is a paradise of flowering trees, warm ocean breezes, and pristine beaches.  But its bay, Pearl Harbor, is testimony to one of the blackest and yet most commemorated days in American History.  On December 7, 1941, the harbor, which was home to our naval vessels and military personnel, was destroyed.  Thus were we plunged into the four-year international conflict known as World War II that claimed the lives of many American soldiers.  Christened “a date which will live in infamy” by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Pearl Harbor Day was established to honor those brave souls, our military, who perished in the holocaust in Oahu’s bay.

 

More than sixty-seven years have passed since the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, and each year, it seems that our nation’s collective memory of this momentous event grows ever dimmer.  There are, however, a few of us who refuse to let this commemorative day and its meaning die.

 

Our disregard of Pearl Harbor Day is indicative of the state of our country.  We have become a nation of greedy people, putting our needs first and God and country second; a nation that allows political leaders to sell their votes to the highest bidder concerning issues that effect its citizens, without contemplation or the consent of those citizens.

 

Today we live in troubled times rife with economic woes, high rates of unemployment, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a raging national heath care debate. We are barraged by media hype to the point where the average citizen is overwhelmed by the critical choices that he or she must make, to the point where many remain numb and impotent to bring about positive change.  The pioneer spirit in America is on the ropes and struggling to survive.

 

The leadership needed to take us out of troubled waters is non-existent.  As American citizens, we must take up the reins and restore our nation to its glorious past.  Where are the Washingtons, the Jeffersons, and the Lincolns of our time?  Where are the Jack and Bobby Kennedys and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s?   Our society is steeped in the mindset of “Let somebody else take care of it,” but “somebody else” never does it.  So we sit back in silence as our nation’s mores are challenged and stomped upon.

 

On this Pearl Harbor Day, 2009, I would like to offer an apology to the men and women who gave their lives and are still entombed in the USS Arizona in the deceptively calm waters off Oahu, and in the U.S. military cemeteries on native and foreign soil.  I apologize to those who died in the jungles, on the beaches, and in the deep waters of the Pacific that marked the sacrifices they made in helping to free Europe from a monster and protecting the freedom and safety of Americans. 

 

Please forgive us for not taking care of the country for which you died.

Rainbow Tears

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Rainbow in Water

(Artwork is by Christara Copyrighted © http://my.desktopnexus.com/christara/)
(Link to artwork: http://abstract.desktopnexus.com/wallpaper/27127/)

 

Seven years ago, I was dragged quite reluctantly into Pearl Harbor on Oahu, one of the bright gems in Hawaii’s gorgeous necklace of islands.  I was there with my husband to celebrate our twentieth wedding anniversary, just as the first anniversary of 9/11 was looming upon the horizon.  As a New Yorker deeply affected by 9/11 and whose youth, indeed spirit, was marked by Vietnam, I wanted no further reminders of war, particularly on a long journey meant to be joyous.  But my husband insisted that, as Americans, it was our duty to visit Pearl Harbor.  And so, we did.


The film shown to all visitors on the first leg of their journey through the harbor left me sobbing.  I tried to leave after the film, but my husband advised me that, in years to come, I would be sorry if I did.  As it turned out, he would have been right.


We were ferried across the bay to a floating structure that seemed at first glance like something out of the original Star Trek series.   This pure white structure rocked gently upon the water like a futuristic subway car.  It was long and its ceiling curved.  The deepest part of the arc was at the ceiling’s middle; its two ends bowed upward at a rather sharp curve.


Our military escort had explained that the monument had been designed to depict World War II.  The deep arc denoted Pearl Harbor Day, the lowest point in our nation’s history during this long, bloody battle, while the soaring ends represented our nation’s final triumph over our enemies.   And then our escort startled me badly by explaining that we were about to visit a mass grave.


Well below the monument, at the bottom of the bay, sat the U.S.S. Arizona.  Other naval ships had been bombed and destroyed on that infamous December 7th, 1941, but the Arizona had taken the biggest hit.  More lives had been lost aboard her than on any other vessel, and some of the bodies had never been recovered.


I had been to the National Cemetery at Arlington years before.  The sight of so very many small white headstones, stretching for what seemed infinity, was a terrible thing to behold.  But somehow, the chapel aboard the monument in Pearl Harbor was worse.  Eternal flames flickered there, beside urns of fresh flowers brought daily by visitors and the loved ones of those who had gone down with the Arizona.  Above these remembrances on a large white marbled wall were carved the names of the soldiers, those who had died during the attack on Pearl Harbor.


To see the same surname three and four and five times in a row was a blow to the gut.  I could not imagine families losing so many loved ones in the blink of an eye.  It was too close to that raw wound, 9/11, for me.  I ached to be gone from that floating tomb, but was compelled to remain there until the skiff returned to the island at its appointed time.  As I waited, my lips moved silently over every name on the wall, as did my husband’s.  Not to do so would have been disrespectful.  I thought of all the wars that had occurred during my lifetime, in which our nation had been engaged — far too many wars.  In my heart’s eye, I saw the Twin Towers fall again like vertical dominoes in a terrible cloud.   And I recalled an old and painfully truthful song by Sting, “History Will Teach Us Nothing.”


Desperate to escape this horror, I made my way to the railing as quickly as decorum allowed.   I looked over the side and watched as fresh flowers, tossed from the hands of other visitors, landed upon the water in honor of our dead.  But as I peered more closely, I saw small rainbows blooming on the surface of the sea.   They were globules of oil, escaping from the Arizona.  Sixty-one years after she had gone down fighting, the oil in her tanks was still rising, gently kissing the surface of the water.  Day by day, minute by minute, drop by drop, they rose and bloomed, then dissipated and died.  But even as they expired, new rainbows appeared, dark upon the water, only to die and be replaced by others.   “Rainbow tears,” I breathed to my husband, who watched in horror and fascination.


I am no physicist, but I questioned how, sixty-one years later, these rainbow tears could still be shed by the ship below my feet, holding many still entombed within her.  “How much oil does such a vessel hold?  Should not the tears have stopped long before now?” I wondered.


I don’t have the answer to the first question, but I believe I have the answer to the second.  The rainbow tears still bloom above the Arizona as a reminder of the sacrifices of our military, and of the sacrifices of the loved ones they have left behind.


In my heart, I believe that they still bloom as a reminder of the costs of war, well beyond the billions of dollars spent in arms and equipment and the inevitable reparations that we must make to those upon whose lands we wage our battles.  The tears, in my opinion, are a small but definite miracle, a cry from those below to find our way toward peace on the troubled waters of our human existence.


Rainbow Over Pearl Harbor

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