Pearl Harbor Day, December 7, is a date that has been intertwined in my personal history for several reasons for quite some time now. For me, the anniversary of this date has become a day of reflection over many things.
Several years ago, while working on another article in remembrance of the 1941 attacks and that “date which will live in infamy”, I stumbled across an article that spoke of interments and burial at sea for Pearl Harbor Veterans. Coming from a culture of more “classical” burial traditions, I was inspired and overwhelmed by this sacred privilege and naval tradition.
“In Pearl Harbor, these interments have a unique significance as they represent the physical and symbolic reunion of a veteran with their Shipmates from the vessel. These particular interments involve a Navy diver physically placing the remains of the deceased within the remains of the ship. They are reserved solely for Pearl Harbor survivors and their families.”
The ceremony and tradition are both beautiful and incredibly significant to both the family, and the veterans who choose to return in this manner. I smile at the thought of services that mean so very much to both the deceased and the family, it is, after all, the way it should be.
It is the way it can be for all of us.