I wanted to paint a famous monument that I’ve actually visited and right away settled on Pearl Harbor, more specifically the USS Arizona Memorial. We were fortunate enough to visit there three years ago, and the gravity of the memorials definitely left an impression on my heart. Sure, I’ve read about the events many times over the years, but to actually visit the exhibits and learn more about the events leading up to and afterward, the attack itself, and the bravery of so many Americans was quite something that is hard to put into words.
I felt the solemnity of the entire area including Remembrance Circle, Contemplation Circle, the anchor, etc., but standing over the hallowed waters of the USS Arizona Memorial took my breath away. I was awestruck yet sorrowful to see the magnitude of the sunken ship below the memorial and realize the loss of lives. A rainbow-colored trail of oil still seeps from the wreckage, and the oil sometimes is referred to as “black tears,” as if the ship is weeping for all who were lost. It is mind-boggling that one of the most scenic, tropical places on earth once met with such chaos, carnage, and loss. I will never forget the ultimate price paid by so many brave Americans and am grateful to all who have served and continue to serve. Thank you!