At Pearl Harbor

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The wind ripples across the surface of the water.

Part of the ship is just barely visible in the illumination of this Oahu sun.

I know they’re down there. All of them. Waiting for me to join them in their watery grave.

What is the sound of the dead? Is it silence? Do the dead really have anything to say to me?

Are they giving me a reason to fight, or are they trying to tell me to quit my post? I didn’t realize the full extent of what this was until just a few moments ago, standing over the USS Arizona, looking down at the deck.

I’ve wandered into a tomb.

A place where the dead will never be at peace. A place where the dead are screaming out at me in indiscernible shouts of silence.

FREEDOM.

Every so often, I have to remind myself that this is what I am fighting for. I so often use this word in my everyday, that I have become quite calloused to the idea of it.

Freedom…

What does that word even mean?

In the Political Science 270: Intro to International Relations course at my University, I was taught that freedom requires three variables. A, B, and C. If A = you, B = where or what you are trying to reach, and C = the obstacle that is limiting your ability of achieving B, then B = A – C.

In short, only in overcoming your obstacles are you truly free.

Aside from the clinical description of freedom that I was taught, I do not know that I truly know what the word means. I think, probably, that the word freedom describes a feeling. A feeling that there is absolutely nothing in the world that can remove a human being from their present state of happiness.

The only way, I think, that I can truly understand what freedom is, is to learn more about those peoples around the world who do not have freedom.

When I was in jungles, I got a small taste of what it means to not be free. But I was so busy administering freedom that I still wasn’t able to define the phenomenon of freedom.

So, I live in the free world. I am a free man. I fight for freedom. I will die a free man. But I’m just not quite sure what that all means. It’s going to be interesting to find out for myself.

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Rest in peace my brothers.

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