The Pre-Emptive War of George W. Bush was most recently preceded by the Pre-Emptive War of the Empire of Japan. In the most recent instance the United States of America took the aggressor's step, as it similarly received the step of the aggressor 65 years ago this date, in infamy. Frodo recalls his presence just a few short years ago when Sam accompanied him to the Memorial just offshore from Ford Island. There was nothing superlative in Frodo's experience which overcame that which dwarfs the universal humility experienced by all who visit this platform over the USS ARIZONA. The loss of life, nay the loss of innocence, are felt by all who come here, regardless of their point of departure.
Frodo was concentrating on the slowly rising bubblets of oil. People about him had their own thoughts, and Frodo was not about to intrude. There was a gentleman with a camera, standing by himself, and glancing toward the USS MISSOURI, now tethered just behind the bier which is the monument to those resting below. His furtive eye contact with Frodo was both timid and hopeful. He lifted his camera in one hand toward Frodo, silently asking if Frodo would take his picture. Perhaps because Frodo stood alone, or maybe he thought Frodo younger than many of those who shared their time on that platform, but his eyes were translating words that separated him from all the rest of those at that place, at that time.
Frodo smiled and took the camera. With his back to the USS MISSOURI, the traveler from Japan stood solemnly and waited for the camera to click. When the photo was taken Frodo stepped forward and handed the camera back to the gentleman, and as the traveler bowed from the waist, so did Frodo. Frodo (pardon the phonetics here) said "Kaneechewah, " and the surprised Japanese traveler smiled and offered Frodo his hand. He said "Thank You." They boarded the tender together which carried them back across the harbor, and avoided eye contact the entire time. In a few hours the two travelers would board airplanes, heading in different directions.
Frodo wonders, to this day, if those few seconds are recalled as significantly, this day, as they were that day, on different sides of the small blue planet. Somehow, Frodo feels that he is mentioned, if not described, to many people, many times, half a world away.
Perhaps the treachery of War is something that non-participants, more than half a century later, can put to rest with their fathers. We had better hope that such will be the case 65 years from now.
"Day is done, Gone the Sun, From the Hills, From the Sky, All is Well, Safely Rest, God is 'Nigh."