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Lest We Forget: Pearl Harbor - December 7, 1941

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Hawaii Today - We Remember Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona
Lest We Forget: Pearl Harbor - December 7, 1941

Memorial at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, Hawaii

Photo by John Fischer
Today, reminders of the war are seen in many places in Hawaii. When tourists climb to the top of Diamond Head they exit through a bunker used as a lookout for attacking enemy aircraft. Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial remind all who visit them of the important role of Hawaii in the war and of the many who died on that fateful morning.

Throughout the islands other memorials are found, such as the huge War Memorial at the National Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl, the World War II Memorial in downtown Honolulu or the smaller, but just as moving, Waialua-Kahuku World War II Memorial at Haleiwa Beach Park, Oahu.

There is one thing that cannot be overlooked when one stands before these memorials that honor those who died in World War II. The list of the dead includes many men of Japanese descent whose parents, grandparents or great-grandparents came to Hawaii from Japan to start a new life. The names of these men stand above, beside and beneath those of mainland roots, of Chinese roots, of Filipino roots and those of Hawaiian blood, all of whom sacrificed their lives to preserve freedom for themselves, their families and us.

Wars are fought by men. Many of these men die. Wars are begun by others, often less brave, who sit many thousands of miles from the death.

Those who fought and died in the battles of World War II were, in most cases, honorable men, whether they be American, British, German, French, Japanese or from any one of the many other nations involved.

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