The Ghosts of Pearl Harbor(story)

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This story takes place here at the University of Arizona: at pm on the 3 rd Wednesday of every month, a bell is tolled seven times on the University campus. The bell is installed on top of the Student Union, overlooking the main lawn—specifically, the part of the main lawn being occupied by a memorial to the USS Arizona. It sank to the bottom of the ocean. Actually, it sank through the bottom, and landed, 75 years later, on the University of Arizona campus.

The memorial has converted the main lawn, and by extension the university itself, into the ghost of the sunken battleship. Everyone who steps foot on the grass becomes one of the distinguished dead, or a vessel for their suggestive resurrection. The bell was originally installed on the USS Arizona.

Not that anyone within earshot at on the 3 rd Wednesday of every month, would know that. Its alleged use is memorial. Its actual use is nostalgic. Subliminality is not a modification of the truth, but a testament to the ways in which we are being infected by, and made to worship and perform, the national disposition. French historian Alain Corbin writes about the prophylactic virtue of bells—that bells preserve the space of a community from all conceivable threats.


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Demons were horrified by the sound of bells , he writes. Bells were credited with the power to cleanse the air of every infernal presence. The naval base at Pearl Harbor was established.

A visit to where America’s World War II began, and ended.

The memorial is as much a memorial to the naval base and ship, as it is to the tradition of converting occupied land into an armory. For me, however, it is an anti-memorial to Japanese American incarceration, and the atomic bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. One of the early proposals for deploying the bomb on Hiroshima was to release, in the seconds before the bomb, a siren, so loud that everyone on the ground would hear it, look up, and be blinded, a second later, by the flash.

By blinded I mean: their eyes would melt.

What could Pearl Harbor and the bell possibly mean in southern Arizona in ? Ten miles down the highway from here the University has a second, 1,acre campus, on which it is facilitating the development of the most advanced border-security and border-enforcement technology in the world. It is important to acknowledge institutions that summon old, entrenched atrocities, while actively dreaming and preparing for new ones. Todd Miller writes, in Border Patrol Nation , about how students in the Aerospace Mechanical Engineering department have been studying the wings of locusts to develop miniature surveillance drones that can fit through cracks in walls.

Pearl Harbor Ghosts

This renders anachronistic the methods used against Japanese immigrants—wiretapping, opening mail, breaking into bank accounts. But anachronisms are the rhetoric of revisionism, which enable, by comparison, the production of more terroristic forms of technology. The bell, meanwhile, functions through what Simone Browne describes in Dark Matters as: ceremonial terror. Part of the ceremony is the suggestive resurrection of the dead, whose footfalls form the erotic undertones of, in this case, academic existence.

Ghosts of Pearl Harbor are brought to life 76 years later | Daily Mail Online

It is only within the reality of these conditions that a person might be able to stride onto the bridge of the ghost-ship USS Arizona and, infused by the emanations of its panoptic bell, feel the entitlement and pride of being an uncontested citizen of what is, in essence, a rapidly and relentlessly expanding graveyard. Stephen Walker, Shockwave: Countdown to Hiroshima. Brandon Shimoda was born on August 6. He lives in the desert.

Identifying Unknown Soldiers - Ghosts of Pearl Harbor

All Introspection. In the s, she began to be used as a site for memorial ceremonies, and, in the early s, an official memorial was built. It is run by the National Park Service. It is a permanent shrine for all those brave souls who lost their lives in Pearl Harbor, and those who died fighting the Pacific war that began there. A few bits of this sunken hull, rusted, twisted metal, can be seen near the shallow waterline. Some state this is a fitting tribute for she appears to still bleed for all who were lost on the day Franklin D.

Ghosts of Pearl Harbor

For years, people who have visited this memorial and park service employees have witnessed some strange activity. Many photographs that have been taken around the memorial have captured strange foggy spots and misty human figures seem to appear in the background of these photographs.

Distracted by something personal, he left his station briefly. It was during this time the Japanese planes attacked. At midnight, they saw a rare lunar rainbow, which native Hawaiians believe symbolizes an imminent victory.

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All night, they felt the ground shaking from trucks trailering artillery pieces, and heard the rifle shots of nervous guards, the antiaircraft fire of panicky gunners, and the grinding gears of mortuary wagons transporting the dead to cemeteries in Nuuanu Valley. Share this: Twitter Facebook. Like this: Like Loading