Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ehime Maru...

Yesterday was the anniversary of the tragic sinking of the Ehime Maru. On February 9, 2001, the U.S.S. Greenville submarine collided with and sunk the Japanese ship. The fishing boat was struck when the Greenville performed an emergency surface maneuver to impress onboard guests. Nine people were killed on the boat including four teenaged Japanese boys from the Ehime fishing village in Japan. Eight months later the boat was moved to shallow water and U.S. Navy divers retrieved the bodies.

One boy's body was never recovered. Takeshi Mizuguchi. I talk about Takeshi when I do presentations on the significance of human remains to Native Hawaiians. His parents never had closure to hold their son one last time like the other families. So I never forget that. Or Takeshi.

One digital camera was recovered however during the salvage operation before the boat was towed back out into the depths and committed again to the deep ocean. The memory card was still good after eight months on the ocean floor. And it was Takeshi's camera. His parents got to see his photos of his last days alive. Through his eyes. There was even a photo of Takeshi on his birthday which was a couple of days before he died.

I will never forget those lives lost. Me ka moe maluhia sweet gentle kind Takeshi. Rest in Peace. So much pain, loss and grief. So senseless. So very unnecessary. But for the pride of man.

I know one day we will meet. And embrace. And cry our hearts out. For the power of Aloha. Of everlasting love. Of sweet kind gentle forgiveness...