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.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Posted by lisa c. at 2:54 PM