Wednesday, February 1, 2012

January 31, 2012. Pearl Harbor, HI.

We ate breakfast at McDonalds, which is right next to our hotel. Dianne had Portuguese sausage, eggs, rice, and pineapple. Spam was on the breakfast menu, but we all passed on that. They also have taro pie.

The trash cans are polite (mahalo means thank you).
We were picked up in front of the hotel at 8:30 and shuttled out to the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites.

First we went to the USS Bowfin, a World War 2 era submarine. With our tickets we each got a set of earphones and an audio tour, which was very helpful and informative. We also toured the USS Bowfin Museum.

We toured the entire sub--every inch of space is used. While these bunks look a bit close, I think I would rather sleep here than on top of the torpedos, where more bunks were located. Not all seamen had bunks--they worked shifts and also slept in shifts, taking turns in the bunks.

There was also a memorial to all of the submarines lost in World War 2, with a marble marker for each sub, listing the names of those lost. We could see the USS Missouri in the harbor but did not have time to tour it as well as the other things we had planned.

We took a ferry boat out to the USS Arizona memorial, which was built on top of the sunken ship. I lost count of the times I watched the actual footage of the battleship being bombed and exploding in a fireball on December 7, 1941. Each time was as horrifying as the last.

We could see the ship below us in the water, and there was a marble wall listing all of the men lost on the ship (over 1200). There was a separate plaque with the names and dates of those who survived the sinking of the Arizona but requested interment with their ship mates, some as recent as 2011. It was a heartbreaking sight.

Our next stop was the Pacific Aviation Museum, where there were planes from WW2 as well as a separate hangar full of planes from other wars. I recognized the Huey helicopter from the Viet Nam era, but did not take its photo. What a sad place.

The last shuttle back to the hotel was at 4:30 and we were on it. It was a sad day, but an important part of our history.

I thought this sign was a real hoot--Interstate Highway?????? To what other state does it connect!!!?????

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