Thursday, December 08, 2016

Chrysanthemums & Rose Petals for USS Langley - 75th Pearl Harbor

My personal hero, who took me to Philly lunch many weekends, Pearl Harbor Survivor remembered.
Yesterday, I made the trip to visit Pearl Harbor's Arizona Memorial and the USS Missouri.  I went, for my late "American Grandpa", who is my father's uncle. Since I am over 10 years younger than all of my cousins, I was like an only child on the weekends with him, his brother, mom, sister, and my the other hateful aunts that he instructed to "try to be nice to her" for as long as I could remember. Uncle Eddie, told me about that day at Pearl Harbor and his duty on the USS Langley gunner that avoided getting hit that day. And that he could only return to clean up while referring me to the framed full crew photograph on the wall of his Upper Darby home. So, yesterday December 7, 2016, I scattered the rose petals and yellow mums at the Arizona Memorial, heartfelt.

Despite Uncle Eddie being a gunner, having only two silver stars from Iwo Jima and the aftermath of Pearl Harbor. My mom, fearing for my life, let me go to lunch with him & to the candy shop. It was a regular weekend at great-grand mom's to hear the fight that he'd been through too much and should stay away from me (offensive names withheld).  Instead, he argued that he'd done the fighting so he could do what he wanted to do. My mom, being Japanese, was someone Uncle Eddie visited with and they would talk in our living room many Sundays. Later 2009, before I came to Hawaii;- he dropped off his Langley mission cards for me to check out. He also was the biggest motivating piano teacher in hindsight, since he "brought me up" not naive about my musical studies and shared his love of music with me.

Yesterday, I didn't know what to say to the living treasured Pearl Harbor Survivors. I remember Uncle Eddie telling me that, "Yeah they want me to come out there, but I don't, nah, dont wanna make the trip." It was like an indicator that he was always pressing to be forward thinking. I remember days he'd show up at the house from cleaning up 9-11 with the FDR hat on. He lived a life of service to the USA, even though he parted from the US Navy so long ago. I always was in awe of him and his inner strength.

I, being born a dual national of Japan and USA,  rarely received a gift of any kind (no graduation cards either) from my father's family members since they would fight and bicker  and cause headaches for Uncle Eddie because they hate me, even as a 6yr old. So I always felt that his time was more precious to me and my late brother. He'd give me a few bucks here and there where he could sneak it in and tell me to hang onto it. That, at this level, it was more individual healing and learning for past events as our interpersonal way of making amends. 
I hope, that there are more of us who choose to honor our fallen appropriately (like Uncle Eddie did every weekend). And, that we can move forward to make peace.

On December 7, 2016
I stopped by a local florist who gave rose petals and the mus to me for my visit. I am grateful for her kindness. The Arizona Memorial ticket was free. I did make some small purchases for momentos of the day since it has always been a family weekend topic in the USA. The box of Cracker Jacks I ate at the USS Missouri was the only one I saw, but it was expired by a couple weeks. Thanks to da Braddah for kamaaina water.