Friday, May 14, 2010

Pearl Harbor


When my wife and I finally decided to plan a trip to the Hawaiian Islands I was really excited for all the amazing wonders I knew that I was finally going to get to see with my own eyes. But before I could go see all the natural beauty and amazing scenery that the islands have to offer, I had to first go the place I wanted to visit more than any other, Pearl Harbor and the Arizona Memorial.

Pearl Harbor as my plane is on final approach to Honolulu Airport

December 7th, 1941, "A date that will live in infamy" - President Franklin D. Roosevelt.That phase has been burned into my memory since I was a small child studying history. I had always wanted to visit and pay my respects to those brave soldiers, airmen, and seamen that lost their lives  during that horrible sneak attack that drew the United States of America into World War II.

Entrance to the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor
If you plan to visit the Arizona Memorial  while you are on the Island of Oahu, I recommend getting to the memorial as soon as they open. The crowds that come to visit and tour the memorial are massive. I arrived early and the lines to get in were extremely long. No matter, I would have waited all day.   

The memorial that is attached to the sunken battleship Arizona

The USS Arizona (BB-39) was a Pennsylvania-class battleship of the United States Navy. Shortly after 08:00, a bomb dropped by a high-altitude Nakajima B5N "Kate" torpedo bomber from the Japanese carrier Kaga hit the side of the #4 turret and glanced off into the deck below, starting a small fire but causing minimal damage.At 08:06, a bomb from a Hiryū "Kate" hit between and to port of Turrets #1 & 2. The subsequent explosion — which destroyed the forward part of Arizona — was due to the detonation of the ammunition magazine, located in an armored section under the deck. The massive explosion ripped through the forward part of the ship.

                                The names of the 1,177 crew killed in the attack

Due to large crowds that are moved through the memorial, I did not get to spend nearly enough time there as I would have liked. It is a very moving experience, and it is one of the few places I have been where everyone was quiet and respectful.                                                                                
#3 Gun Turrent USS Arizona

The Arizona continues to leak fuel oil into the harbor causing a slight oily film to be observed on the water.
Anchored nerby is the USS Missouri, site of the Japanese Surrender. It is also open to tours, but I did not get to that as the lines were just to long. Hopefully on my next trip. I would love to stand on the deck next to the spot where that surrender was signed. 

                        USS Missouri ( BB-63)

On the launch pulling away from the memorial

Ths is my favorite photograph from my trip to Pearl Harbor. As the launch pulled away and headed back. I stepped to the rear of the boat and framed in the waving flag from the back of the boat. Although I did some more sight seeing later in the day, it was not nearly as enjoyable as it could have been. I just kept thinking of what happened that day Pearl Harbor was attacked, and how so many of the men killed there had no chance to even fight back. I am so grateful for all the men and women that serve our country!

Have a great weekend...............

No comments:

Post a Comment