Thursday, April 2, 2009

Honolulu......Aloha part 6

Day 7, Sunday March 29
Like I said, we got up early and met Mike, Sherri, Brandi and Jon in the hotel lobby about 7:00am. After the valet finally found our car, we all headed to Pearl Harbor to visit the USS Arizona Memorial. We were able to catch the 9:00 ferry to the memorial. Yet another amazing place. Half of the deaths that occurred in Pearl Harbor were a result of the USS Arizona being hit. Not only was this ship hit, but it was hit where they kept the ammunition, resulting in a massive explosion. The memorial is built over the ship that rests on the Harbor floor. The ship still leaks oil to this day, between 1-2 quarts a day. It comes out in little drops that float to the surface and then burst open. It is said that these are the tears of the ship. Can you see the black dot in the center picture?

We wandered through the visitors center. A few of the displays caught my attention. One was a picture of a sailor and a copy of his last letter home, it of course was short, saying hello to friends and family and simply requesting a picture of his mother. He signed off by saying, "You're beautiful Mom." Another letter I read was from a mother to her sister just days after the attack. She said "...we don't know where he is or if he is may take a few days till they know who was killed, injured, and safe......If I don't hear from Art soon, I I think I'll lose my mind....If you want to send him anything you better do it soon as we don't know where he is or where he'll be.....pray for him...". Unfortunately, he was on the USS Arizona.

I sat on the floor and wept. Letters like these just hit so close to home. I suppose it is something that not everyone can relate to, but those who have had loved ones serve in the military during times of war can. It is a scary thing to be sitting at home during a conflict, wondering if they are okay. Waiting for them to call or write so you know they are alive. I was so blessed my soldier was able to come home to me.

Next we all headed down the road to the Aloha stadium where every Sunday there is a HUGE swap meet. And I mean HUGE. Booths circle the entire stadium! This is the absolute best place to pick up souvenirs. Some of our purchases were: 8 tee shirts - 2 for each of our children and 2 for Kevan for $20 plus LOTS of other fun stuff for our kids!

The Barnard's and Robinson's headed to the airport to turn their car in early, but Kevan and I went back to the harbor and visited the USS Missouri and the Bowfin submarine. The USS Missouri is a sister ship to the USS Arizona It is where the world leaders met and ended WWII ( On the golden plaque). It was damaged in the attack, but was later repaired and even used in the first Gulf War. After that it was decommissioned. It is an amazing ship. The guns on that ship are MASSIVE! It was a really cool experience.

The Bowfin was also used in WWII. It was pretty amazing to tour that. The spaces are so small. We learned a lot from that tour also.

Well, by now it was almost 5:00 so we headed to the airport and caught up with the Barnard's and Robinson's. We grabbed some dinner there and then played cards till the rest of our group - the Anderson's, Bywater's, and William's made it. Our flight left at 8:30pm. It was a 6 hour flight home and we to to SLC at 6:30am Monday morning. As we were descending into the valley, the flight attendant looked out our window and commented on the snow. I said, "Is it too late to change our mind and go back?" Yicky snow!

Our trip was a really fabulous one. We did everything we had on our list. We were able to spend time with friends and were able to make new friendships too. After visiting sites like these that are so beautiful, all I can say is, "When are we coming back?"

Aloha and Mahalo!


Retta said...

Hi Deborah! Glad to see you are back home. What an amazing account of your trip! The pics really took me there and I cried at the part of the memorials... my Daughter's YASA(Young American Stateswoman Association)reading group just finished the accounting of Pearl Harbor and one of the girls great uncle was serving there. He had taken photos that really brought a moment of silence to the room...hard to do with teenage girls...made that time more real to us. You and your hubby look so carefree and happy on your trip. Made me smile to imagine how exciting it must of been. Thank You for sharing!!

Megan said...

What a neat experience to be able to visit Pearl Harbor. I think it is interesting that the ship still after all these years leaks oil. I want to visit Hawaii so much one day, but thank you for sharing so many details of your trip. I learned a lot from all you shared and makes me want to go see it all even more! :)

Alissa Larsen said...

Sounds like that trip was amazing. Talk about a great experience. I loved Hawaii while I was there. So much history. I am glad all is going well.

brandi said...

Ahhhh, what a fab write-up! I loved every minute of it, and I am so thankful to have those memories with you and Kevan! :)

Tiffany Bauer said...

What great pictures you took of this awesome trip to Hawaii!!! I'm glad you had a great time, I know we did!!! Go check out my pictures on my blog.
Take care!!