Well then if its not stepping out of bounds, heres a bit more of the story on the design of this fine monument (and its a good story). The memorial was dedicated on Memorial Day, 1962. Per US Navy requirements, it spans the sunken hull of the battleship Arizona like a bridge without touching it. Visually the basic shape of a peak at either end connected by a sag in the center of the structure evokes two separate ideas. First it has the appearance of an out stretched white sail hovering above the waters of the harbor. Secondly that often criticized sag represents the height of American pride before the war, the sudden depression of the nation after the attack on December 7th, and the rise of American power to new heights after the war. The architect describe it this way: Wherein the structure sags in the center but stands strong and vigorous at the ends, expresses initial defeat and ultimate victory The overall effect is one of serenity. Overtones of sadness have been omitted to permit the individual to contemplate his own personal responses his innermost feelings. The central assembly room features seven large open windows on either wall that extend up and through the ceiling, to commemorate the date of the attack. The total number of openings is 21 to symbolically represents a 21 gun salute or 21 Marines standing at eternal parade rest over the tomb of the fallen sailors. The other major feature is the stylized Tree of Life design at one end; the end which represents Americas growth from loss and return to strength. There is also an opening in the floor overlooking the sunken decks of the ship. From here visitors can pay their respects by dropping flowers in honor of the fallen sailors. Note that you should not drop leis in the water though, only flowers. This is because string from leis poses a hazard to sea-life. Leis are permitted on the guard rails located in front of the names of the fallen. A little about the architect Alfred Preis was born and raised in Vienna, Austria. He left there in 1939 to escape the German annexation of his homeland and eventually settled in Honolulu. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, he was detained there for three months at the Sand Island Detainment Camp as part of the internment policy of Japanese and German Americans. Afterward he chose to remain in Hawaii and is known for having designed a number of buildings and structures on the island. We now return this hijacked TR back to its genial host who will have far more entertaining stories and pictures to share with all of us.