Wow. Just wow. I can't even begin to imagine the horrors they saw that day. I was in the Navy from 1992 - 2000 - the time of long-range missiles and surface-to-air weaponry that these gentlemen didn't have. Can you imagine the feeling of panic of hearing those planes and trying to find someplace safe to hide? I can't. And then the carnage afterward? Insane!
The oldest ship I was on was built in the mid 60s (USS Canopus AS-34) and although I thought it was a small boat, it was a LOT bigger than the ones from 1941. If I would have stayed in the Navy, my next command would have been a destroyer in Pearl Harbor. I did have the honor of visiting the Arizona Memorial both when I was a freshman in high school and again in 1995 when I was on my way back to Alameda after a 6 month deployment to the Western Pacific. I sure did not appreciate what I was seeing when I was a kid. As an adult, even though there was a group of us ferried out to the memorial...it seemed very quiet and cool inside and seeing the oil sheen still on the water's surface was the eeriest thing I'd ever seen. It honestly felt like you were stepping back in time.
USS Arizona BB39 Memorial