This recent trip to Hawaii was probably *at least* my 20th…subsequently, it was hubs’ first.
Despite this disparity, we definitely found TONS of fun things to do – considering the fact that there are a lot of tourist must-do’s that I have NEVER done – including paying a visit to the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor.
So, a trip to this powerful memorial found a spot on our Monday morning itinerary. In fact, as we piled into the car, it was revealed that my parents had been once before – but back in the 80s! And then along with me, my sis (and of course hubs) had never been so we were definitely a captive audience! We had PLANNED to go early (pre-8 AM) but with our morning run, breakfast and other gathering up everyone logistics, it was late morning by the time we arrived.
The parking lot was bustling, but not super busy, so the gals popped outta the car (storing our valuables in the trunk*) to check if we’d get lucky with a tour! Annnnddd….BINGO! We were handed the last 5 tickets for the 11:15 AM tour, which would begin in about half an hour. SCORE! We thanked the friendly attendant, called the guys (hubs and dad) and met up in the front to begin!
((*Note for other first-time visitors like us…WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument has a strict no-bags policy. They DO have on-site lockers to the right of the entrance))
The tour started out with a short film documenting December 7 – it was really well done. As an Asian-American, and more specifically, a Japanese-American, it can be somewhat painful to recall memories of WWII – but I think the filmmakers responsible for the presenting the background context to this memorial did it in a tasteful and artful way. I felt a rushing wave of both Patriotism and humanitarianism…knowing that history repeats itself – and that these kinds of events are the kinds that can tell us a lot about what kind of person that WE want to be.
The journey over to the memorial was calm and somber – as the sun shined down on us and the wind whisked through our hair, I could feel a certain, almost eerie feeling as we approached the sunken ship. Stepping out onto the platform, it was like being transported back in time, if only in the mind.
We explored the memorial, noting the smell of gas in the air as it blended with the signature sweet scent of the island. It was a place for quiet reflection, and even the large groups of high schoolers that had ridden the boat over with us were silent.
Before long, we were loading back onto a return trip – it was a short but memorable journey we were glad that we took.
What happened that morning back in 1941 forever changed the world – many lives were lost – and more would be, for years – but in the wake of those tragedies…we learned.
TUNE BACK IN at NOON for Pt II of Monday’s recap!