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Little Kate

Little Kate
Lismore, New South Wales, Australia
September 13
When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile. ~ Author Unknown


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MAY 30, 2011 7:53AM

Black Tears (A Photo Essay)

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On December 7, 1941, eight US battleships were in port at Pearl Harbor ...  the Arizona, California, Maryland, Nevada, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and West Virginia.

On that day, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and the ships took the brunt of the assault. The Arizona, California, Oklahoma and West Virginia sank during the attack. The Arizona suffered the most serious damage and loss of life.

On a recent trip, I visited Pearl Harbor and "Battleship Row".  These are my reflections.


Battleship Row 


Image (courtesy of Wikipedia) depicting "Battleship Row"



Through heaven’s eye and watery grave
We see and we remember

Aerial View of the sunken battleship USS Arizona and Memorial 

Beneath the funnel rest the brave
Who died that day of December

Funnel of the Arizona

Below the skies
 A proud symbol flies

 Honor and Valor

As then and now … for seventy years
 There are tears … black tears

 Black Tears of the Arizona

Forever mates, forever gone

Wall of Remembrance - USS Arizona

One thousand, one hundred and two young men

The Wall





The Arizona Memorial was dedicated on Memorial Day, May 30, 1962.

 "Upon this sacred spot, we honor the specific heroes who surrendered their lives ... While they were in full bloom, so that we could have our full share of tomorrows."

~ Olin F. Teague, Chairman, Veterans Affairs Committee



USS Missouri (BB-63), also affectionately known as “Mighty Mo” or “Big Mo”, was the last battleship built by the United States.

Missouri became the site of the surrender of the Empire of Japan which ended World War II.  The signing of the Japanese Instrument of Surrender took place aboard Missouri on September 2, 1945.

The USS Missouri is now a museum ship at Pearl Harbor ....


Standing proud in "Battleship Row"

USS Missouri  

Watching over USS Arizona

Watching over the Arizona 

The big guns of the "Mighty Mo"

Guns of the Arizona 


Guns of the Arizona 

Where brave marines once walked

Ghosts in the corridor 

And commands were given

Control room 


USS Arizona 


USS Arizona 

And life below decks was home away from home



Big Mo Snackshop 


US Mail 




Petty Officer's Mess 






Ronald Reagan's mug 

USS Missouri

USS Missouri - "Strength for Freedom"

American Flags

A special flag


Re the flag 



The following is one of my very early poems and was written for Scylla the Rock.  

Scylla ... I saw your recent post and just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you.  I know life is so very, very hard sometimes but keep going, my friend.  Please keep faith and stay strong.  You are needed here.  You are loved.

For you, Scylla... on this Memorial Day.



 The job is done
And it has been done well
The soldier is now home
But he lives in hell
He lives with pain
Pain without end
He begs for relief
But the pain does not bend

A son he has lost
Through tragic circumstance
He visits him often
In memory and chance
The pain without end
Leaves him crippled and weak
He pleads for release
And forgiveness he seeks
He marches on
His head is lowered
Through brutal times
He continues forward
He stayed at his post
He has held it for so long
He is tired now
And struggles to stay strong

A wife now fights
She fights for her land
And she fights for her husband
She is making her stand

The soldier searches
And he prays
For the secret to life
For the reason to stay

He calls for the answer
He is so weary
His body is broken
And to die seems easy

March on brave soldier
For the path is in front of you
Fight on dear soldier
The reason? ...

Is those who love and need you







Aerial view of the USS Arizona and Memorial and image of "Battleship Row" courtesy of Wikipedia

All other images by Kate

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To have the opportunity recently to visit Pearl Harbor and learn more of the young men who served their country, was indeed a very sobering honor. Thinking of you all on your Memorial Day.
Oh Kate this is so important and so well done! Rated.
Jonathan: I only hope that I make a worthwhile, albeit small, contribution to your Memorial Day.
Kate, this was magnificent. How appropriate. I have never been but I'm sure it must have been an emotional experience. BUT that poem to Scylla brought tears to my eyes. I read his recent post too. Your heart is just so big - which is why I call you my friend. I am with you in wishing Scylla hope.
Trilogy: A very emotional experience. The 'black tears' I refer to is the oil that still seeps up from the sunken Arizona ... 70 years after she went down. It seemed so representative of the tears shed for the loss of life on that terrible day.

I know you are holding Scylla in your heart and prayers too. Thank you friend. Love you!
It's late here ... I need to go to bed. Happy Memorial Day all.
Bravo, Kate! Very, very, well done and appropriate. Remember, Australia and the U.S. were and are staunch allies. We have more alike than different. Thanks. R
Bravo, Kate! Very, very, well done and appropriate. Remember, Australia and the U.S. were and are staunch allies. We have more alike than different. Thanks. R
This is very powerful. Places where something so tragic happened hold the sadness and horror forever.
Kate, this is the best Memorial Day post I've seen. Next year will mark the 50th anniversary of the dedication of The Arizona Memorial on Memorial Day, May 30, 1962 - how appropriate and relevant it is! There's such a sad, ghastly feeling to seeing the bunks, mess hall, command center, snack bar empty and silent now.

Your poem to Syclla is very poignant - I'm fighting tears - thank you. Thank you.
How nice of you LIl, touching words.
Excellent post. Thanks for putting it up today. It is a painful reminder of the reason for the holiday.
Thank you for a beautiful tribute, Kate.
Very tasteful and thoughtful. More than a photo essay, thank you. =}
Dave: Thank you, buddy. You've made me smile. We are allies, friends ... and, yes, more alike than different! And thank you for your service to country, Dave.

Kathy: Thank you so very much.

Janice: Being there at Pearl Harbor is a day of my life that I will not forget. It was indeed very, very moving.
Fusun: Thank you so very, very much. When I went below decks of the Missouri it really hit me ... this is where all the marines lived on the ships ... not only this ship but all the ones that were bombed that day. I thought of those who would have been below deck, in their home away from home, when the Arizona was bombed. Very sad. And Scylla? A soldier who touched my heart when I came here over a year ago. I just want him to know he is needed and loved.
Rita: Thank you. My heart was touched by these special places and by Scylla.

Rei Momo: Having been in Pearl Harbor just a few short weeks ago, it seemed appropriate to join in and share your holiday and remember those who have given service to their country. Thank you for sharing with me.
Chicken Maaan: I'm happy to share. We woke to the tragic news today that we've just lost two more soldiers in Afghanistan ... two families have lost their sons ... 25 and 27 years old.

blufeather: I appreciate so very much your kind words. Thank you.
I think of Scylla often and pray he soldiers through . This was a beautiful tribute to all soldiers, but your poem to Scylla touched me the most. We all have been given the opportunity to buck up our soldier, Scylla, and I hope it helps somehow and some way. Warmest thoughts to you and Scylla.
Fernsy: It warms my heart to know that so many here really care. Thank you, sweet friend.
Oh Kate, it has taken me most of the afternoon and part of the evening to get here. This is the best Memorial Day post I have had the opportunity to read! But for his wedding to my Aunt, my Army Uncle would have been on the ground in Pearl that day. Their honeymoon was cut short, he had to return to the Island from the Midwest.

Roy Wolfe, that I talked about in my post yesterday, served proudly on The Missouri. A few years before he died, he made her final journey to rest in Pearl Harbor. It was something huge to him.

Thank you for this. I don't know much of Scylla, but plan to right that if the site will let me get to his. Your poem for him is quite beautiful.

Thank you!
Pastvoices: Being on the Missouri was quite a moving experience for me … especially being below decks. When I went below and saw the mess hall empty, bunks empty, the snack bar, the kitchen where their food was prepared, the mail box … a home away from home … now empty .. it was eerie. At that time, I thought too of the marines that would have been below deck on the Arizona when she was bombed. It is something I won’t forget.

And to think that someone close to you served on the Missouri too. If you’ve not been to Pearl Harbor before and been on the ship, I hope that one day you will, dear friend. Best wishes.
Wonderful piece. Thanks for taking us here.
Sheila: It was my pleasure. Thank you for coming by to read.
Oh my! This is nothing short of ASTONISHING!!!!

So well done!!!