Posting vignettes based on great postcards found in my mail box and elsewhere.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Remembering Pearl Harbor

The USS Arizona sunk on December 7, 1941, in less then nine minutes after an armor-piercing bomb from a Japanese war plane penetrated its forward deck and exploded the ship's ammunition store. The surprise attack by the Japanese Air Force and Navy at Pearl Harbor resulted in over 2,000 American souls, including 68 civilians, killed. More than half of the casualties (1,177) were Navy sailors and Marines on the Arizona. Today the National Park Service oversees the memorial over the sunken remains of the battleship Arizona.

My grandmother received this card from a friend in April of 1971, the year I graduated from high school. At the time I wasn't collecting cards actively but my grandmother would give me a handful of cards whenever I visited.

On the reverse side is an eight cent Einstein stamp. The message reads: "Greetings -- wonderful trip -- beautiful weather, etc. Waiting now to see Kodiak snow. See you soon -- Love, Ruth"

The composition of the card is unremarkable except that it was obviously taken from a moving boat. You can see the wake of the craft as it pulls away from the monument on a partly sunny day. Many times over the years I've looked at this image and not seen its significance, yet it's mundane image holds a hidden treasure.

The memorial sits over the remains not only of the sunken navy ship Arizona but also over the remains of the men who died on that fateful day. The fact that the photographer took the picture moving away from the memorial, rather than approaching it, speaks to our relationship to all who have died. Though these men are remembered and honored, we must by necessity of time itself move away from them. This is the cruel nature of time itself , let alone our faltering memories.

It is good that there are memorials made of marble. It is also good there are postcards and postcards posted on the Internet. Each saves a valuable memory, at least for a time, from loss.


  1. Hi - thanks for leaving a message on Postcards from Aus. I will be back .... we moved and I found the postcards a few days ago (yipppe!)
    Glad you like the blog. Going to take a peek at yours at weekend as looks interesting - love old pictures, info etc...

    Merry Christmas!!!


  2. Hi!

    As a postcard addict im always so happy to see other postcard blogs around! Its nice to see yours and to read your thoughts behind them...definitely goes on my reading list :)

    btw, i see you are from Alaska....i love that place...ive always thought it has some outstanding nature, and i also have some soft spot for the Northern Places in the world (as for Norway and Iceland and Finland which make my heart go 'whoop' :))
    So if you are ever interested in exchange, please let me be more than delighted :)

    warm regards

  3. Looking forward to your next cards, Leslie. Stop by anytime.

    Yeah, I love the north too. In the future I'll have some specifically northern images, including dog sleds and northern lights.
    I just joined so I should be getting more international cards. I also found a really need antique store here in town that has some really neat old images. Enjoy.

  4. Suosdei from Cambodia!
    Great blog you have here :)
    Like you I am also new in Postcrossings and have received several cards already. I also put up a blog to put them all there. Do you mind if we exchange links? I could also send you a postcard from Cambodia, if you are interested :)

    Postcards Crossing

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