Widgets May 30 ~  End to War Words for Friends to Live by

"More than an end to war, we want an end to the beginning of all wars." ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

The Arizona Memorial

In the bright sunlight, the USS Arizona Memorial gleams holy white--a glowing contrast between the azure Oahu sky and rich blue Pacific Ocean, a powerful tribute and reminder of the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese in 1941.

About remembrance, playwright Thornton Wilder once wrote, "The greatest tribute to the dead is not grief but gratitude."

Funded in part by an Elvis Presley benefit concert and dedicated on this day in 1962, the 184-foot marble memorial rests atop the sunken 608-foot USS Arizona battleship where 1,177 sailors and marines remain entombed. Officials estimated that over 500,000 gallons of oil remain within the damaged confines.

Ironically, the peaceful nine-minute boat ride to the memorial is about the time it took a single bomb to sink the ship.

To represent America's initial defeat and ultimate victory, architect Alfred Preis designed the structure to "sag in the center, but stand strong and vigorous at the ends." The sides of the memorial represent a perpetual 21-gun salute.

"You always remember," said William Cope, a B-17 pilot at Hickam Air Force Base during the attack.

The over 1.6 million who visit the Arizona Memorial annually are somberly reminded of the high price of war. About those who sacrificed their lives, Admiral Dennis C. Blair said, "they will live on forever in spirit by continuing to move us. We salute them; we honor their sacrifice; we will not forget."

Pray for no more war.