December 7th was the 65th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Last year when we were in Hawaii, they really didn't do much for Pearl Harbor day. This year was quite a bit different. As I said before, there were a lot of Pearl Harbor Survivors around. They felt like this was going to be the last chance they had to come back. There was a ceremony at the memorial where Tom Brockaw spoke. They also announced that they are going to begin remodeling the memorial.
The Arizona Memorial is one of the only things in Hawaii that's free. You sometimes stand in a long line to get into the building. (I say sometimes because this last time there were hardly any people so that was nice.) Then, when you get in the building, they give you a ticket with a number on it. You have to wait until they call your number, which can sometimes be a long time. In our case, it wasn't. Then, you go and watch a movie about the attack on Pearl Harbor. It's really well done and makes me cry every time. After the movie, you take a boat out to the actual memorial. You're only out there about 12 minutes, but that's usually enough. It's a moving experience. If you're ever in Hawaii, we definitely recommend it.
I wanted a picture of the sign talking about the 65th anniversary, and I'm trying to get more people in pictures, so... I don't know why he wouldn't face the camera. Sometimes he's a little bit silly. Anyway, we went a few days after the 7th, so we didn't get to see all the ceremonies and stuff, but we still saw all the stuff around.
This is taken from the boat going out to the memorial. The architect for the memorial said that it is bowed in the middle to show the sadness of that day, but tall at the ends to show our strength.
Just under 1,200 people died on the USS Arizona that day. Around 900 are still in the boat, so the memorial is also a cemetary. We also learned that those who survived can choose to have their ashes intured with their "fallen comrades." Having never been in a war or a battle like that, it kind of surprises me that so many have.
On the other side of Ford Island, which is actually a military base and where Brent had his class, there is the USS Utah Memorial. I really hadn't heard about this. It's not that big of a memorial, but it's there. To get there, you have to be able to get on base, which is probably why so few people go there.
I took this picture off the Arizona Memorial page. It's from December 7, 1941. The capsized boat in the middle is the USS Utah.
And, this is what's left today. I am not really good at remembering important dates or history facts, but I am good at stories. I have also found that I'm good at remembering things when I see them myself. It makes it real to me.
Ok, enough of that bummer post. It was a good day and a lot of fun! Here's a joke...
What are two men with no arms and no legs on the wall named?
Kurt and Rod
Hee hee hee!