Today while my family and I reflect on the memory of all our fallen hero’s that made the ultimate sacrifice for me and this country, we think back to just a few short days, less than a week ago… While we were in Hawaii we had the opportunity to visit the Pearl Harbor Museum. It was an amazing place, and one that made you realize (even if it was small) how horrific and life changing that day was. I admit that I didn’t take as many pictures as I normally do, it was such a sacred place… quiet, full or reflection, respect and sadness.
There was a woman on our tour, sadly I didn’t get her name because I was listening in on her conversation with the couple in front of us, and she had been living on the island when the attack occurred. Her husband was stationed at one of the different bases in Hawaii and she was sharing her memories of that morning, it was like listening to someone tell you about being in one of the World Trade Center buildings- it was hard to hear.
There was an amazing museum that we all went through, it had headphones with an audio tour for each exhibit and it was SO informative and made me connect with that moment in history. There were so many things to see, hear, touch, and feel. My kids were in awe of the encrypting machine they used, they were amazed at how long it would take to decipher a message- (this coming from a kid that freaks if the page doesn’t load instantly.)
once we finished the audio tour we headed over to the actual USS Arizona, the only sub that couldn’t be raised from the ocean. There was a silent apprehension as we rode on the boat to the monument of sorts… See the ship is almost completely under water, and there has been a platform built over top. There are 150 people at a time that go into view this sacred under water tomb as there are still 900 service men that were lost on this vessel when it sank. There is a list of all the service men that lost their lives that day posted on a monument inside the platform, I couldn’t believe how many there were. See Pearl Harbor wasn’t the only port that was bombed that day, sadly that isn’t something I knew before this trip. If I had learned it in school, it didn’t stick. But experiencing it in this way has changed me forever, and my kids too.
This is the front of the ship, those things popping up are the apparatuses that the BIG guns on the ship were housed, you know those big guns that look like the parts on top of tanks. They could shoot seriously far, I can’t recall the exact distance but I remember thinking, WOW! that’s far. It was humbling to be able to get a glimpse down into those compartments and see the frayed and damaged wiring and cables and imagine the chaos and fear that was filling the air and sea that day.
Then from the inside of the platform you could see another smaller one that would most likely face the rear of the ship… but can you see what else is there?
We learned that there is still about 1-2 quarts of oil that seep out of this vessel every day. You can see the bubbles of black oil floating in the water. There have been no attempts to drain the ship of it’s oil, as to do so would disturb and violate the sacred tomb of these dear solders that have been laid to rest here in their watery graves. This experience has impacted me deeply and I have an even deeper and more profound respect for our military. I am eternally grateful for those men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for my freedoms… for your freedoms… for this county. I am and will be forever grateful!
On this Memorial Day, I hope that you, your family and all of our service men and women have a very safe and happy day filled with love and family. Remember those that have fallen and pay respect in the best way that you know how.
HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY