Last Pearl Harbor Veteran to be Interred at USS Arizona Memorial

Rest at ease, Sailor!

Job well done!

Remember Pearl Harbor!

At Ease, Sailor

The day seems bleak,
The wind blows, calmly as it comes,
The day has just begun,
Suddenly the thought of you arrives,
As it’s docked at bay,
All it’s glorious splendor,
The thought provokes, am I kept amidship, or amongst the bilge in your infamous vessel,
Which way does the boom swing,
What determines the bulwark as this on going thought occurs,
The clouds speed fast,
Lost within themselves, do they ever become lost,
As when they seek, their found,
Is that one gleaming light easily found, slowly rotating around,
Like the one found in your eye,
As heights reach above freezing,
Here, in the crow’s nest,
Tears freeze, as they dare to remember,
Remember the first voyage set a sail in your eyes,
The chills felt as the wind blew across skin,
Revealing all that was put in the open,
It’s caress, so tender,
A fear no longer afraid to regret,
As natural as it came,
Eyes explored the shores hidden between you & I,
Far from any dock, any bay,
As we sailed freely,
Day, night,
As with you,
There was no boundary,
Where we’d go, the things we found,
As we lost ourselves on deck, far from the escape hatch

Kewayne Wadley

source: Los Angeles Times

Just before 8 a.m. on a Sunday morning 78 years ago, Lauren Bruner was preparing for church services and a date that would follow with a girl he’d met outside his Navy base.

The 21-year-old sailor was stationed as a fire controlman aboard the U.S. battleship Arizona, overseeing the vessel’s .50-caliber guns.

Then alarms rang out. A Japanese plane had bombed the ship in a surprise attack.

It took only nine minutes for the Arizona to sink after the first bomb hit. Bruner was struck by gunfire while trying to flee the inferno that consumed the ship, the second-to-last man to escape the explosion that killed 1,177, including his best friend; 335 survived.

More than 70% of Bruner’s body was burned. He was hospitalized for weeks.

Now, nearly eight decades after that fateful day, Bruner’s ashes will be delivered to the sea that cradled his fallen comrades, stored in an urn inside the battleship’s wreckage.

Bruner, who died in his sleep Sept. 10 at age 98, will be the 44th and final crew member to be interred at the site, a decision he made nearly 30 years ago. The last three surviving members of the Arizona’s crew have all chosen to be laid to rest with their families.

A moment of silence will be observed at 7:55 a.m. Hawaii Standard Time on Saturday (9:55 PST), the exact moment the bombings began so many years ago, followed by an annual public ceremony at Pearl Harbor to remember those killed in the attack.

Lou Conter, 98, one of the last three surviving crew members, will be at the interment, coordinated by the U.S. Navy and the National Park Service and attended by about 160 loved ones of Bruner.

La Mirada man will be the last Pearl Harbor veteran to be interred at USS Arizona Memorial

Calamity Jane