Can you imagine taking footsteps on the same exact ground of the ones that lived back then? Do you ever place yourself through their eyes on what it must have been like? Visiting the Pearl Harbor USS Arizona Memorial was not only educational, but it was extremely amazing and gives you a perspective that you won’t ever forget. We’ve learned the history of Pearl Harbor in textbooks during history class in high school but most of us were never met with the emotional par, but only that it happened.
There is so much history in this place. There are bittersweet feelings that surface, at least for me. I was soon met with the feelings of sadness that this happened, but also seeing how the memorial is like now… it made me think of how the Pearl Harbor survived and was rebuilt to honor the lives that were lost. It seems like in any catastrophe, humankind never give up. We just choose to always go on and always resolves while never forgetting the lives who fought for it.
It’s never one person who does anything. This is true everywhere about everything. No matter where or what we look at… there are many, many people who made it happen. The laptop I’m blogging on, the camera I take pictures with, the schools that my kids go to, or the playgrounds that my kids play on, and this memorial that we found great joy in experiencing was put together by so many people who donated and gifted to this place to make it into what it is today. I know no matter what the majority believes, goodness is everywhere.
The tour included earbuds and a a little audio gadget that tells the story of each station that you visit here. You simply enter the numbers that are on the sign to listen.
The Pearl Harbor and Ford Island
Before we went on to the boat ride to see the USS Arizona (not the boat behind me), we went to the memorial Theater were it showed us a quick clip of why there was even an attack here. On top of that, there were buildings that walk you through the Pearl Harbor story of with visuals that gives you an idea of how it was like. We also saw an old Navy uniform that literally had a story of shock, blood, tears, and survival embedded on it.
The tour boat to take us unto the USS Arizona Memorial
Our view while on the boat looking back!
What is the USS Arizona Memorial? It’s a memorial built on top of the sunken USS Arizona to honor those that gave their lives on that day. You can see pieces of the ship through here and sadly, you can also smell the oil that still leaks from the ship. The ship was scheduled for a trip before the attack happened. They call this now the war grave and black tears of those who died.
The memorial is an open structure that makes you feel like you’re on a ship, you can smell and see everything as if you were on it. I remember thinking how crazy it was to be at the same exact place where the ship was bombed and sank.
This was my favorite moment of the visit. We got to meet Herb Weatherwax! He was a survivor and witnessed the attack on Pearl Harbor. He volunteered here at the memorial for twenty years to talk to visitors by telling the event through his eyes. Isn’t that just an amazing thing to realize? It seemed like it was so long ago, but there was this man who was THERE back in that time while I was here in this time. All of a sudden, it didn’t seem like it was so long ago and I’m sure to him it didn’t happen that long ago.
He wrote a book about his life called, “Counting My Blessings” about how he grew up, his draft into the Army, his job as a switchboard operator at Pearl Harbor, the attack, and afterwards. He was a WWII Veteran that was so loved by all. Sadly, he passed away in 2016, a year after we visited him. My husband and I feel so honored to even got a chance to meet Uncle Herb. This visit was truly amazing, and if you are visiting Oahu… this is one place you must visit. Please check out the link below for more information! Thank you so much for visiting and until next time.
Visit The Pearl Harbor Memorial Website
Such a neat memorial. It’s hard to believe there is still oil coming up after all these years.