This morning, a cacophony of U.S. Navy warships, some gliding stately up and down the main channel, others gently tugging at their moorings, wafts across the waters of Pearl Harbor.
But one ship never moves. The battleship USS Arizona lies below the murky waters of the harbor, its decks submerged, its armaments missing or askew. A telltale trail of oil — symbolic blood — still seeps from its sides three-quarters of a century after it was lost.
The Arizona is an icon of devotion and sacrifice. More than 900 men lie entombed below its decks. Yet it is difficult to escape the surrounding bustle that encroaches upon the reverence this final resting place deserves.
A few miles away and 500 feet above the harbor, in a volcanic crater called the Punchbowl, things are very different. Here, the loudest sound is that of silence itself. There are few visitors. Across the flat floor of the bowl, a carpet of green grass accents rows and rows of white marble markers. After the quiet, the most moving thing about this place is the dates on the graves.