December 7, 1941, is the "date which will live in infamy."
Yes, 68 years ago today, Pearl Harbor was bombed -- on the island of Oahu in Hawaii.
The USS Arizona Memorial was established in 1962 and is comanaged by the National Park Service and the Navy. The USS Arizona was a ship which sank during the attack. It serves as a burial for the 1,102 crew members who died on the ship.
Almost 4 years ago (January, 2006), Marc and I were in Hawaii. My job took me there for a few days, and then, Marc joined me. After my "work" time, we vacationed. We spent half of the time on the big island of Hawaii. We then jetted over to Oahu. It was on that island that we visited the USS Arizona Memorial -- located in Pearl Harbor.
I'm not really sure of which words I'd like to use to describe our experience. I often times think the word "surreal" is most definitely overused, but I guess I'll use that word in this case.
It was weird for me to think that this beautiful place was the sight of a horrible attack back in 1941. It was kind of hard for me to imagine.
It also made me want to honor our servicemen and servicewomen even more....the sacrifice they make for our country.
Here are a few photos....they weren't taken with the best of cameras, but they do capture the moment, I guess.
The big anchor you see as you enter the museum....
The Navy actually takes you out on the boat to the actual memorial -- built over the sunken USS Arizona Ship.
On this memorial, there is a big wall listing all who lost their lives during this attack -- on the USS Arizona, specifically.
Parts of the USS Arizona stick out above the surface of the water.
You can also see the ship underneath the water.
And, who's this cute couple -- with the Memorial behind them in the distance?
Marc and I do have one regret from this visit -- There were a few Pearl Harbor survivors actually greeting the crowds as they enter the museum. Obviously, these guys had aged. But, they had their "Pearl Harbor" survivor hats on...they were obviously proud to have served our country and proud to stand there greeting people. Marc and I, for whatever reason, did not go and talk to these guys (yes, we said "Hi" but that was about all). We now regret that we didn't take the time to go and talk to them. You know they have stories. Plus, World War II veterans are becoming few and far between....It's important, we think, to listen to their stories and learn from them.
But, obviously, we can't live in the past. It's just a mistake we made -- not talking to them. If you go to this memorial anytime soon, please make every effort to talk with the World War II veterans who may be greeting at the doors.
For those of you who have been to Hawaii -- you may offer your own opinion, but first, I'll share mine...
I've been to Hawaii twice in my life -- once when I was 20 and once when I was almost 30. I enjoyed the second time more as a) I was with my husband and b) we had a little more money with which to enjoy our trip and c) I had grown up some by age 30 and appreciated the trip much more....
When I was 20, I visited (with a friend) the islands of Oahu and Maui. I really enjoyed Maui as it was definitely pretty. I enjoyed Oahu but not as much as it's much too touristy and commercialized.
When Marc and I went (when I was almost 30), we visited the big island of Hawaii and Oahu. We mainly visited Oahu for the USS Arizona Memorial. We both too enjoyed the big island MUCH more than Oahu; however, we are definitely glad we went to the USS Arizona Memorial.
Long story short -- islands other than Oahu are much prettier and much more relaxing.
Feel free to visit Rich & Carolyn's blog -- they just returned from a two-week trip to Hawaii and according to the blog, had a FABULOUS time. Plus, there are some great photos.
Much of the midwest tonight, tomorrow, and Wednesday will be getting some yucky winter weather. So, to put us all in a better mood -- I'll share some beautiful Hawaii photos from our trip nearly four years ago....
Yes, this is Marc playing in the ocean....
O.K., that's all for now -- stay warm!
And, most importantly, remember to honor those servicemen and servicewomen who are serving our country!
Joyful and a little silly
14 hours ago