What is THIS about? PLEASE?

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (Achieve3000, September 13, 2011). On July 19, 2011, U.S. officials hosted an ancient Japanese tea ceremony steeped in tradition at the site of a downed World War II-era battleship in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The ceremony symbolized how far the relationship between the U.S. and Japan has come since Japan attacked Pearl Harbor 70 years ago.
The tea ritual was held inside the USS Arizona Memorial, a gleaming white, open-air building that sits atop the battleship’s sunken hull. The hull still holds the remains of more than 900 of the 1,177 sailors killed when the vessel was sunk by Japanese planes on December 7, 1941 in a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. In total, some 2,400 U.S. sailors, Marines, and soldiers lost their lives at Pearl Harbor. The next day, on December 8th, Congress authorized President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s request to declare war on Japan. This action also prompted the nation’s involvement in World War II.
The idea for holding the symbolic ritual at the memorial came from Jean Ariyoshi, the wife of former Hawaii Governor George Ariyoshi, the first Japanese-American governor in the U.S. The tea ceremony is an ancient Japanese tradition. It encourages contemplation, reflection, and respect for others. Tea ceremonies are also events of peace: Samurai in medieval Japanese times would remove their swords and leave them outside before entering a tea room. Organizers hoped the ceremony would promote world peace and reconciliation between the U.S. and Japan. The two nations were once enemies but have been strong allies for more than 50 years. Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie said the ceremony was a nod to both Japanese culture and the strong mutual respect between the two countries. Abercrombie added that the tea ritual for peace also came at a timely moment amid war and conflict around the world."The United States and Japan may now share a strong mutual respect, but other people and countries are warring with as much [hostility] and mutual misunderstanding as we once experienced ourselves," said Abercrombie.The ceremony was led by Genshitsu Sen, a Urasenke School of Tea grand tea master. He served in the Japanese naval air force during World War II. Sen, 88, prepared two bowls of green tea—one for the Pearl Harbor war dead, and one for world peace. He took the bowls to the memorial’s shrine room. There, the names of U.S. sailors and Marines are chiseled into the wall. Sen placed the bowls on a wooden table and bowed deeply before the names in a sign of respect. He later said a prayer before the wall, with his hands held together.
Sen said he long wanted to offer a prayer for world peace at the memorial because it’s where so many people died in the Japanese attack. He also wanted to make sure people remembered the events of December 7, 1941.

"People are slowly forgetting that this happened here 70 years ago," Sen commented. "We shouldn’t forget. It’s an important duty for all of us to pass on what’s in our hearts to our children and grandchildren so it’s not forgotten."

Three survivors of the 1941 attack attended the ritual, including Sterling Cale, a hospital corpsman who was assigned to the shipyard pharmacy at Pearl Harbor. Cale, 89, said the ceremony filled him with joy.

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