Since we are a military family, a visit to Hawaii wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Pearl Harbor. As a matter of fact, it was one of the first places we visited.
Unfortunately, we got there about 30 minutes before closing time. Disappointed, we decided to try our best to see what we could in the short amount of time. There were several rooms with artifacts and videos describing the 20th century’s September 11th. There were several outdoor exhibits. We could see the USS Arizona Memorial across the harbor, but tours had already ended for the day.
Things eventually worked out for us because four days later, we signed up for a day long tour of Oahu and Pearl Harbor was the first stop! Dear Hubby was so excited because he loves military history and really wanted to take in everything that the memorial site had to show us. It meant a lot to him as a military member to pay his respects to those who lost their lives protecting our freedom.
At the beginning of the tour, we watched a video about the attack. We then took a boat ride commanded by the US Navy over to the USS Arizona Memorial. This is what it looks like.
Seventy years ago on December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, which led to the United States getting involved into World War II. The Japanese mission was to destroy the United States Pacific Fleet and aircraft. During the attack, the USS Arizona was hit and a fiery explosion broke out, killing 1,177 sailors. In total, 2,390 people were killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor.
The USS Arizona Memorial is built on top of the remains of the battleship. There were several other ships that suffered high casualties, but the USS Arizona Memorial commemorates all who died in the Pearl Harbor attack. The ship was filled with oil the day before the attack and oil still leaks from the ship to this day.
Inside the memorial, there is a wall with the names of all who died in the attack. Sailors that survived the attack have the option of having their ashes interred within the battleship with their fellow comrades. Their names are listed on the square box on the left hand side.
After the tour was over, three Pearl Harbor survivors were available to sign autographs. The men were very nice and I enjoyed talking with them.
If you are ever in Hawaii, I highly recommend that you visit the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. Just like we shouldn’t forget 9-11, we shouldn’t forget Pearl Harbor. To keep the memory going in my own family, I bought a USS Arizona christmas ornament to hang on my tree. May God rest the souls of those who lost their lives on the “date that will live in infamy.”