Pearl Harbor Poetry


By: Bruce Danforth

The attack on Pearl Harbor was an event that inspired a nation to come together. It continues to bring out emotions from the most hardened sailors and soldiers. Poetry is an excellent way to express the emotions of the day of infamy.

December Seventh by Cornelius Douglas

Pearl of beauty, Pearl of life,
Within your channels deep
Rest the men and tools of war
For you and God to keep.

From northern skies fell death and strife,
Your paradise turned hell;
As history wrote by early light
A tearful memory tale.

Such valor there was to be found
Mid tragic human loss;
While doomed souls lay in perils rain
War bloomed…the final cost

For all who died that Sabbath morn
We bow our heads and pray
For them God please, A Grant of Peace,
For us….a better way

 

 

Also by Cornelius Douglas

Carrier

 

 

Below is an original poem by former Pearl Harbor Ranger, John Vierra.

 

Did You Know Me Then? by John Vierra, Park Ranger, USS Arizona Memorial

I was born in the early 1920’s in a small town in the mid-west or was it in a large city back east?
I can’t remember anymore.
Did you know me then?

I remember getting the chores done so I could go to the Saturday matinee or was it the baseball game?
I can’t remember anymore.
Did you know me then?

I remember the depression of the 1930’s and Papa working so hard to care of the family, anyway he could with odd jobs I especially remember Mama making ends meet. Papa was stern with the family but, Mama sweet Mama, what an angel she was.
Did you know me then?

I remember the swimming hole that we swam in, the bicycle rides. The picnics.
Did you know me then?

l remember school. Boy, do I remember School. I remember the soda shop and the good times after school.
I remember Mary the girl next door or was it Sue the girl I met at the dance.
I can’t remember anymore.
Did you know me then?

I remember people talking about the war in Europe, but we’re in America, why worry about what was
going on there. This is America, the land of opportunity. We would never get involved in their problems.
Did you know me then?

I remember my brother Bob and I enlisting in the Navy together.
I remember Mama insisting that we serve on the same ship together, so we
could take care of each other.
Did you know us then?

I remember our being assigned to the battleship USS Arizona; she was a beautiful sight to behold. I
remember when we were told that we were to be home ported in Pearl Harbor, Honolulu. Wow!
Hula girls, grass skirts, beautiful beaches. Paradise, a dream come true.
Did you know us then?

I remember December 6, we all went to Bloch Arena to watch the battle of the music competition.
The music played by the bands was great.
Did you know us then?

I remember Sunday, December 7, not too much going on, just lying around.
Then that thundering noise that broke the Sunday morning quiet. It sounded like hundreds of aircraft. I remember the explosion, my breath and whole being taken away from me.
Did you know me then?

I can hear Mama crying; Papa hasn’t cried yet. I want to tell him, It’s ok to cry, Papa, every tear is a prayer.”
We’ve been home ported here for a very long time. I can see our buddies aboard other ships saluting as they pass by. I hope they see me returning their salute.
Do they know me?

My buddies and I are really at peace now.
Pray for us!
Did you know me?
Then if you knew us, remember us always.

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