Last month, after being here for eight months, my I finally made it over to Pearl Harbor with my mom and Gabriel.
It was really awesome and really quite an honor to go and pay my respect to those who lost their lives there. We took a boat to go see the Arizona Memorial.
It's hard to explain the emotion that hit me when I stepped off the boat. The memorial is built over the USS Arizona which was sunk in the attack on Pearl Harbor.
The water is not very deep in that area, so you can still see a lot of the ship. There are parts of it that aren't even submerged. Little bubbles of oil still seep out and float to the surface of the water.
At the far end of the memorial structure there is a room with hundreds of names etched into a wall--the names of the servicemen who lost their lives in action on the USS Arizona.
I fought back tears as I stood in that room staring at that wall. So many of their bodies were never recovered. They are still down there.
The USS Missouri is docked and open for small tours (I didn't have the money to see it) as well as the Bowfin (a submarine).
There are periscopes and torpedos and lots of other historic remnants of the events that took place here.
I have known about what happened at Pearl Harbor those many, many years ago for a long time. But now, having been to the very site that it took place, I have a much more...REAL knowledge of it. As I go about my daily life here on the island, I can't help but imagine how horrific it must have been for not only the service men and women who lost their lives defending the harbor, but also for the civilians on the island. I cannot picture, as I walk around my neighborhood and shop at the Halawa market, this place being rocked by bombs and gunfire and so much terrifying violence. I have a much stronger feeling of reverence when I stand in my back yard and gaze across the way down at Pearl Harbor.
I didn't want the visit to be a depressing one. I DID have fun! I'm in HAWAII! Plus, I'm just a goofy nerd. So here are the not very serious pictures.