Friday, May 23, 2008


While in Hawaii, my friends and I went to Pearl Harbor. I don't know if they could tell, but I was really looking forward to this part of the vacation. I am an history nerd (I have annoyed many with my backseat history lectures:), and being a history addict, I love going to historical sites. So let's just say that Pearl Harbor was up there on my highlight list. Being that Memorial Day is around the corner I thought it would be an appropriate time for me to reminisce on this part of the trip.

Before going to Hawaii, I had tried to brush up on my WWII history, to get in the right frame of mind for the visit. We also did the museum tour before taking the ferry. There original items from ships and people who were there that day. It just made me reflect more on the many sacrifices given by men and women in uniform and civilians to maintain our freedoms. The men and women there at Pearl Harbor that day were living their lives and not expecting the events that they soon were a part of, but they maintained their courage and gave their all in the heat of the moment.

The whole experience was awe inspiring. Before the boat ride out to the USS Arizona memorial, you are shown a video that details the history of the battle and the history of the memorial that is now floating overtop the sunken USS Arizona. Many times during the whole process, you are reminded about being respectful out on the memorial. The men who went down in the Arizona were never removed from their under water tomb, 1,177 still buried below the surface. So on the ride over, it gave me some good reflection time. The memorial sits over the center of the ship, which you can see as you look over the railings. There is still oil rising from the ship, which survivors call "black tears" shed from the men who perished. The names of the men who died that day are engraved on a large marble wall. It was a moving moment to look at that wall and see many similar names and that there were many brothers, fathers/sons that served on that ship and perished together. I came to appreciate even more, the history of our country, a history that has many ordinary people, rising to their best in extreme circumstances and not shirking when they are faced with the ultimate choice.


TetVet said...

America's oldest living Medal of Honor recipient, living his 99th year is former enlisted Aviation Chief Ordnanceman (ACOM), later wartime commissioned Lieutenant John W. Finn, USN (Ret.). He is also the last surviving Medal of Honor, "The Day of Infamy", Japanese Attack on the Hawaiian Islands, Naval Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Territory of Hawaii, 7 December 1941.

'Navy Centenarian Sailor', 103 year old, former enlisted Aviation Chief Radioman (ACRM, Combat Aircrewman), later wartime commissioned Chief Warrant Officer Julio 'Jay' Ereneta, U. S. Navy (Ret.) is a thirty year career veteran of World War One and World War Two. He first flew aircrewman in August 1922; flew rearseat radioman/gunner in the 1920s/1930s air squadrons of the Navy's first aircraft carriers, USS LANGLEY (CV-1) and USS LEXINGTON (CV-2).

See my photo album tribute to these veteran shipmates:

P.S. They are also residents of San Diego, California.

Gabe & Christy Beal said...

Lisa - it looks like you girls are having way too much fun!!!! Im loving your adventurous spirit! (RAW baby OCTOPUS???)

and Im LOVING the short hair! (i dont know when you cut it - but its DANG CUTE!)