Pearl Harbor

Recently I visited Pearl Harbor in Hawaii where, on December 7, 1941, hundreds of Japanese fighter planes made a surprise attack on the American naval base.

More than 2000 soldiers and sailors died that day and another thousand were wounded. It was this that finally precipitated Franklin Roosevelt to enter the Second World War.

Here’s my poem about that day:

The Pear Harbor Rainbow

They were doing mundane things

Reading

Shaving

Chatting

Polishing their shoes

Writing letters home

Getting over the night before

When they’d been on the town

Dancing, drinking, kissing

Making love

Laughing

Living

They were young

And who knew

What tomorrow would bring

Now here they are entombed forever

In their watery grave

The list of names goes on and on and on

900 men

Taken by surprise

And to this day

Oil still seeps from the sunken ship

And lies there on the water

Like a fallen rainbow

They say it is the tears of the dead

Weeping

And we who are lucky enough to be alive

Weep for them.

THIS PHOTO FOR BLOG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the many moving exhibits at Pearl Harbor is this poem which, we are told, Eleanor Roosevelt kept with her at all times.

For me, its message is as relevant and meaningful today as it was then. If you know who wrote it, please tell me.

Lest I continue
My complacent way,
Help me to remember
Somehow out there
A man died for me today.
As long as there be war,
I then must
Ask and answer
Am I worth dying for?

 

© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems

 

 

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One Comment on “Pearl Harbor”

  1. Irene Dougherty says:

    Dear Andrea
    A beautiful poem, thank you. Your poems always make me think deeply and I can always relate to them.
    Geoff and I visited Pearl Harbor when we were in Hawaii. Such a moving place.
    Sadly, I have no idea who wrote the other poem but it is as you say, as relevant today as it was then.
    X Irene


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