In July 2010, an assemblage of allied ships from all over the Pacific gathered at Pearl Harbor. The US Navy’s Rimpac site features an aerial tour of the naval base.
Pearl Harbor today
The various ships file out of the channel on their way to sea. One of them is the great gray shape of the JS Atago (DDG 177) representing what is arguably the second most powerful navy in the world.
Along with her were vessels from Australia, Canada and one the modern destroyers of Korea, the ROKS Saejong the Great (DDG 991). The gator navy participated too. Here’s the amphibious ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), actually bigger than a World War 2 fleet carrier making her way out. Nearby the USS Arizona still leaks oil into the bright harbor.
And here’s the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS-1), a “little ship”, still bigger than the major warships of many countries, designed to fight in nearshore waters.
The sun shines brightly and the mighty ships pass with hardly a ripple into the open sea. The Pax Americana is probably unique in history for not being founded on the occupation of other counties, but based on the control of the commons; the seas, the air and outer space; on the guardianship of the unseen vastnesses that surround the world of peace. Whatever else it has achieved it has ensured that more nearly 70 years have passed since the nations were engulfed with flames. More than two generations have passed in the West that have not known mortal fear and they now consider peace, in despite of historical precedent, the normal state of humanity.
There may be little thanks accorded the ships that do business in great waters but considering what they have achieved it’s not bad. Not bad at all.
Happy New Year everybody!