My dad got to see the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor.
The memorial is now closed because of problems with the structure. Nobody is sure when it will reopen.
A U.S. Army veteran of World War II, my dad visited the memorial in 1997. His reaction spoke volumes.
In the Visitors Center you watch the documentary film on the bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, then board a ferry to the memorial. There, among other things, is the shrine room, displaying the names of the 1,177 crewmembers who died onboard, including the 948 still entombed in the sunken battleship.
My dad, somewhat emotional while watching the documentary, wept openly when we were aboard the memorial.
I was in awe myself, but my dad saw it from a different perspective, having gone to war after the attack.
I hugged him and told him everything was OK. He said yes, it was, because the crewmembers below us, who were about the same age as he at the time, had already seen to it.