A Visit to Pearl Harbor

One of my favorite sites to visit in Hawaii was Pearl Harbor. I love history, and I love actually seeing places I’ve read about over the years.

pearl harbor historic site

A Visit to Pearl Harbor

There was a neat museum with all the little details that I love, like this: a copy of FDR’s speech after the attack was on display. Did you know that he originally wrote “December 7, 1941: a date which will live in world history” before crossing out ‘world history’ and changing it to ‘infamy?’ Shows the difference between an okay word and a better one.

Throughout our visit, I was struck by how many Japanese people were there visiting. Of course, I guess Pearl Harbor is actually nearly as close to Japan as it is to the contiguous 48, but still … it seemed odd. There was a Japanese young adult sitting in front of me in a movie about the attack, and she kept taking photos of the scenes of devastation. I kept imagining myself in a museum at Nagasaki, snapping away at pictures of the loss of life. Hmmm …

pearl harbor uss arizona memorialYou take a boat to get out to the USS Arizona Memorial. I hadn’t realized that. The memorial is smaller than I had expected. It’s built right over the sunken ship Arizona, which still holds the bodies of 900 men killed in the attack. It seemed odd that the bodies could not have been retrieved, since the water is pretty shallow.

Parts of the ship are still visible above the water.

uss arizona ship still visibleOil still leaks from the sunken ship at the rate of 2-9 quarts each day — it originally held 1.5 gallons. Could this be stopped? Maybe, but then again, the oil droplets are perhaps reminiscent of tears, rising to the surface little by little.

oil leaking from uss arizonaSilence was requested while in the memorial. It wasn’t hard to comply with that.

pearl harbor memorialThe list of those who died that day is incredible. So many lives cut short.

uss arizona memorial list of soldiersIt’s amazing and sad to think that the current and coming generations have little knowledge of the events of 1941 in Pearl Harbor.

pearl harbor uss arizona memorialMay we always remember, and may God bless our courageous serivcemen and women.

pearl harbor uss arizona memorial flag

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6 thoughts on “A Visit to Pearl Harbor

  1. Interesting you would mention all the Japanese there. I noted the same thing and mentioned it to George. I said, “I wonder what they’re thinking?”
    George said he had visited Hiroshima with a Japanese Family and that felt a bit awkward as well.
    Also while in Hawaii a speaker told us we were as near Tokyo as San Francisco.

  2. One of the places on my Bucket List. You know, I imagine Japanese are just as interested in what their Great/Grands did in the war as we are. Add to that the horror some may feel. I think it’s ok for them to be there. Maybe it would be different if my Grandfather had severed in the Pacific though.

  3. Really good pictures of Pearl Harbor! Enjoyed your narration as well, especially the part about the droplets of oil and tears comparison. Guess what?
    There were quite a few Japanese there 5 years ago when we were there. Same thing back in 1986 on my first visit to this sobering Memorial. Must be due to their close proximity to Hawaii. No different than visiting Normandy in Europe, I suppose. Everywhere that the loss of life was so great haunts me.

  4. Today at the Sixth Grade Center I told a class that flags were at half staff today and asked them to guess why. They guessed & guessed and finally one girl figured it out.

  5. I think I would be very moved if I were able to visit this place.

Thanks for taking the time to comment. I enjoy hearing your thoughts.