Visiting Pearl Harbor
Jim and I were blessed to visit the Big Island of Hawaii in 2009. My dream vacation. On this Friday December 7th, I am reflecting on our visit to Pearl Harbor, most specifically the Arizona. Below is my journal entry from that visit.
Wake up call scheduled for 4:30am this morning! We had to be at the Kona airport by 6:15am. We took a day trip to Oahu to see Pearl Harbor and Waikiki Beach. Pearl Harbor was quite interesting. We first visited the Arizona Memorial. Seems such a shame so many men died there. I’m pretty sure my research said most of them burned in the explosion of the torpedo hit, but some survived and were trapped in the ship & drowned. There’s not a lot of water over the top of the boat. Such a shame they couldn’t get those men out of there.
We then went to the Bowfin submarine, which Jim thought was very interesting. Then we went over to the U.S.S. Missouri, “Big Mo”, which is the boat that the Japanese surrendered on. That is a stinkin’ huge ship. Amazing. And the whole thing is much nicer than the Bowfin. I’m thinking it’s better to be on a boat than a sub. Haha
We had some time to kill before we had to be back at the airport, so we drove down through Honolulu to Waikiki Beach. Whoa! The difference between there and here (Koahala) is amazing! Here is “peaceful resort”, there is “crazy, busy, tourist area”. The hotels seemed miles high, the main drag was congested w/ cars and people. There were shops and food places all on the one side of the road and the beach on the other. Man, am I glad we didn’t go to stay there! Yuck. Too crowded for me. We definitely made the best choice of location!
I remember before we boarded the boat to go to the memorial we were told it is a sacred place, we were to behave with reverence as we honored the lives of those who died there. During the trip to the Arizona, there are markers where each ship was moored. It was very somber. The oil still leaking from the Arizona is like tears for the memory of what happened there. The memorial, itself is currently closed until March 2019 for ramp structural repairs.
Let us reflect on the military personnel who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.