USS Arizona - my life story.

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posted on Feb, 10 2013 @ 08:19 PM
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I was created in March 1914 an auspicious but tragic year and fitting considering my life path.

The war they would call the ‘Great war ‘was to start in Europe and darkness thundered across the continent bringing shadows whispering of the paroxysms of pain, blood and grief soon to infect country after country, as a generation unknowingly was readied to be systematically destroyed.

Soon, mothers too broken to cry, dry eyed and hollow cheeked, would sob silently for their sons. Wives will wait, anxious for news of their husbands, as they try to clasp the half-forgotten memories of lost embraces to their breast, yearning once again for the kisses that were all too brief.

Fathers too old to fight would feel the fleeting ghosts of a world soon to pass, as a chill caused them to shudder, their hearts would slowly break.

Alone, children will cry into pillows at night, weeping for fathers who were never to return.

Nations who were soon to be too stunned and numb to shed tears were destined to mourn in perpetuity. They were to grieve for what was about to pass and for what would never pass.

The losses would reverberate far into the future and haunt generations yet to be born. This war would shape my life that had not yet begun.

In June 1915 I was born amidst much cheer, champagne and celebration, 75,000 people watched, or so I was told. As I glided down the slipway I hit the water stern first, it slid easily off my steel sides as I surged forward, turning I pushed a white froth of water off my bow, cutting through the spray with a splash of silvery grey.

The wetness drenched my hull and the slate fountain jet of the East River trapped the sunlight and radiated rainbows in an arc of translucent mist that made those watching gasp in awe and delight.

It was then that I took a long deep breathe, a first breathe.

Shocked into being with a splatter of startled surprise I was overwhelmed with love and innocence, but like any young child I was in awe of all around me and confused, at first anyway.

A sparkling silver light tapestry engulfed me, it was full of creativity and wonder. I saw it glowing with wishes half woven. Inside the lights I saw the people, the sailors - emotion flooded my consciousness.

That was my first day, as my life progressed and the years matured me, perception slowly seeped through my awareness bringing understanding to my task, my life’s work.

The first time I felt darkness in my midst I was scared and shocked and wondered how such bright lights could dim so suddenly, as I aged I started to understand that penetrating this darkness was terror.

It was my job to shield those in fear and to guard all those who sailed in me, I was the second and last Pennsylvania class of "super-dreadnought" battleship. My job was to be tough in majesty, strong, brave and to protect all those who sailed in me.

‘Non sibi sed patriae’,

‘ Not self but country’ was my motto and the motto of those men who walked my galleys.

As they cared for me, I cared for them, I listened to their half formed dreams and helped them to nurture love and kinship, I comforted them as they slept and lent them my strength and power. When pain and loneliness invaded their minds and hearts, I held them tenderly and wept and like all mothers everywhere I loved them all.

My job was to protect my boys, to guide them and to keep them safe. I carried out my duties for many years with pride and distinction. I sailed to England after the Great War and with others escorted the ocean liner George Washington, with the then President Woodrow Wilson into Brest so he could attend the Paris Peace Conference.

They promised never again.

I believed them.

In the years to come I would spend many happy days, sailing across the Caribbean, Mediterranean, and Pacific, it was almost idyllic patrolling US waters protecting my countrymen and keeping the peace.

I saw an order return to men and optimism once again allowed their energies to shine, this filled me with fortitude.

But, one day, the lightness started to dim and I noticed that the sparkles once silver and dynamic were now motionless and grey.

A great sadness had entered the world. I reflect on that day now as I remember the day that changed my life.

But that day, that day that changed everything.

My heart aches as I recall, the crashing noise, the screams, and the pain and as December the 7th 1941 dawned with such horror, the skies above darkened and explosions ripped me apart.

Fire flashed and raged. As water filled my passageways, I entered the water in two halves, my boys 1177 of them were destined to join me consigned to the bottom of the sea.
.
I am the USS Arizona, I lie at the bottom of Pearl Harbour.

They think I am just a memorial, consigned to history, but I am very much alive.

I will remain here until the last of my warriors makes that great passage sailing west.

They will sail with honour and I will salute them as I watch vitality and energy once more return to their bodies, which have grown tired with life.

I will delight as I witness them becoming young with youth and vigour.

I will wait until the last of my brave sailors makes this journey, as he passes, I will then take a long deep breathe, a last breathe, that will be my final day.

I will then follow my men. My lifes work complete.

I leave you with my short tale and the memorial that marks my site, it was an honour and privilege to serve.

edit on 10-2-2013 by HelenConway because: (no reason given)
edit on 10-2-2013 by HelenConway because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 10 2013 @ 09:10 PM
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Very beautiful writing my friend.


Now I know who I want to write my obituary. But not yet!


Peace



posted on Feb, 10 2013 @ 09:16 PM
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Wow, that was awesome..

Thank you for that...



posted on Feb, 10 2013 @ 09:20 PM
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Navy vet here. I loved your short story, very fitting.



posted on Feb, 10 2013 @ 09:29 PM
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reply to post by HelenConway
 


thank you all of you. If I have got any facts wrong let me know



posted on Feb, 10 2013 @ 09:38 PM
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reply to post by HelenConway
 


Helen; I know a 92 year old WWII Navy Nurse South Pacific Island Hopper living in my area. Her name is Micky. Although American can relate to your experiences. Bless you and all good intentions for you and your extended family. Any forum used to express deep thought as wildly inappropriate as ATS is a gift, as in it reaches people such as myself. My heart is warmed. My Father, being a retired Air Force Col. refuses to go the USS AZ memorial (we even purchased the tickets to Hawaii as a vacation FAIL). Perhaps because he was born in Bisbee AZ his wife my Mother; Douglas AZ. Too painfull a memory, however if we do not speak of such things how are we ever to understand them?

Midday sun go out in, The Mad Dogs at least wear broad brimmed hats.
edit on 10-2-2013 by vethumanbeing because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 10 2013 @ 10:14 PM
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Very nice...

Most of the time when I click short stories I never finish them...I read this twice



posted on Feb, 10 2013 @ 10:42 PM
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reply to post by rival
 


Thanks Rival - I am not 100% happy with it - it is a bit of a work in progress, and i was hoping to write more .. who knows
I appreciate your feed back though



posted on Feb, 11 2013 @ 06:10 AM
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Originally posted by vethumanbeing
reply to post by HelenConway
 


Helen; I know a 92 year old WWII Navy Nurse South Pacific Island Hopper living in my area. Her name is Micky. Although American can relate to your experiences. Bless you and all good intentions for you and your extended family. Any forum used to express deep thought as wildly inappropriate as ATS is a gift, as in it reaches people such as myself. My heart is warmed. My Father, being a retired Air Force Col. refuses to go the USS AZ memorial (we even purchased the tickets to Hawaii as a vacation FAIL). Perhaps because he was born in Bisbee AZ his wife my Mother; Douglas AZ. Too painfull a memory, however if we do not speak of such things how are we ever to understand them?

Midday sun go out in, The Mad Dogs at least wear broad brimmed hats.
edit on 10-2-2013 by vethumanbeing because: (no reason given)

Hi Vethumanbeing

Thank yor for your feedback and your story.

I don't know why but the story of the Arizona sinking really upsets me - I visited Pearl Harbour a few years ago. Gorgeous place. My grandparents would also not talk about the war, obviously they were in the British armed services the same for my great grandparents who would not talk about their service in WW1, I can only conclude that some things are too painful to relive.

I hope you don't think that story is too sentimental - i wanted to be respectful but I imagine the Arizona, still looking after her 'boys' waiting for them all to join her, a bit like a guardian angel, dedicated to her duty, and eventually they will all pass to a better place.
edit on 11-2-2013 by HelenConway because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 11 2013 @ 04:47 PM
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reply to post by HelenConway
 

Hi HelenConway, Your story was awesome and much apreciated! I'm from another generation of people with miltary affiliations and your words had such impact and meaning. Thanx again for sharing, friend. ^j^



posted on Feb, 11 2013 @ 05:33 PM
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reply to post by shrevegal
 


thank you for your kind words,



posted on Feb, 11 2013 @ 05:36 PM
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Brilliant just brilliant.. Great writing.



posted on Feb, 11 2013 @ 06:41 PM
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reply to post by starfoxxx
 


thank you starfoxxx



posted on Feb, 11 2013 @ 08:46 PM
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Originally posted by HelenConway

Originally posted by vethumanbeing
reply to post by HelenConway
 


Helen; I know a 92 year old WWII Navy Nurse South Pacific Island Hopper living in my area. Her name is Micky. Although American can relate to your experiences. Bless you and all good intentions for you and your extended family. Any forum used to express deep thought as wildly inappropriate as ATS is a gift, as in it reaches people such as myself. My heart is warmed. My Father, being a retired Air Force Col. refuses to go the USS AZ memorial (we even purchased the tickets to Hawaii as a vacation FAIL). Perhaps because he was born in Bisbee AZ his wife my Mother; Douglas AZ. Too painfull a memory, however if we do not speak of such things how are we ever to understand them?

Midday sun go out in, The Mad Dogs at least wear broad brimmed hats.
edit on 10-2-2013 by vethumanbeing because: (no reason given)

Hi Vethumanbeing

Thank yor for your feedback and your story.

I don't know why but the story of the Arizona sinking really upsets me - I visited Pearl Harbour a few years ago. Gorgeous place. My grandparents would also not talk about the war, obviously they were in the British armed services the same for my great grandparents who would not talk about their service in WW1, I can only conclude that some things are too painful to relive.

I hope you don't think that story is too sentimental - i wanted to be respectful but I imagine the Arizona, still looking after her 'boys' waiting for them all to join her, a bit like a guardian angel, dedicated to her duty, and eventually they will all pass to a better place.
edit on 11-2-2013 by HelenConway because: (no reason given)


With any given confict (WAR) that takes lives for a greater acheivement there is always the problem of why did it come to this point. All career veterans see it in a different perspective after the fact years later. I have to remind them that was then and dire to do your duty. As times change, memories fade, new generations born, it is up to us to remind them what their parents and grandparents contributed "the great sacrafice". An evil necessity I do not expect anyone to understand. Look forward to reading more of your thoughts, regards.



posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 03:06 AM
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Hubby and I lived on Oahu in Hawaii for 3 years while stationed at Schofiled Barracks Army Base. While visiting historical areas and points of interest there, we visited Pearl Harbor. I remember looking down at the water and feeling such a sense of despair and yet being in awe of the sacrifice, the final sacrifice that those young men at that site endured. It was a very haunting experience. I felt like I could almost hear the voices of the men calling out to us in the tropical breezes as we paid our respects. It is always hard for me to comprehend what war means and to come to terms with the ravages of war...the lives lost and ruined, the families that suffer loss and all else that transpires as a result of war.

Various spots all over the Island had a haunted feel to it. It was very beautiful there and hard to realize that such horror and tragedy occurred and so many lives were lost. We lived on many bases but my experiences at the one in Hawaii are still fresh in my memory as if it were yesterday. Thanx again for your wonderful writing. Blessings.



posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 06:29 AM
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reply to post by HelenConway
 


Gorgeous.

Gorgeous writing. I wish I could give you more than one S&F's.

Deep, complex, putting a never ending profoundess on something that appears simple, but you break down the deep complexities behind it perfectly.

Amazing.



posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 07:35 AM
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reply to post by XxNightAngelusxX
 


Thanks angel and yes shrevegal , the Pearl Harbour area is beautiful but sad.

I would like to live in Hawaii - damn, why am I not an American passport holder

Didn,t Hawaii used to be British territory - until they ate Captain Cook [ joking - not about eating cook]


Bottom line is i would love to live there for a few years - will go back next time I visit Aus.





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