Fortunately we are only here for a day.
Justin and I are up because we plan to visit the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. We get up really early: around 5:45 AM. The moon is still out and darkness is still dominant. We head over to the Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa.
And patiently wait for our bus. Fortunately, we arrived early – a little too early. Unfortunately, that meant I cost Justin an extra 30 minutes of quality sleep. Sorry bud. I owe you.
The bus is packed. Fortunately, this picture was taken when there was ample lighting in the bus, since it is still dark outside, and my old iPhone flash does not work effectively. Our tour guide is definitely energetic, and keeping us engaged.
The sun begins to rise on the island.
Our tour guide leads us to the Pacific National Monument.
There is a long line at the entrance. While planning this trip, I read about the visit to the Pacific National Monument. They advertised that while a visit to the USS Arizona Memorial was free, the ticket line was very very long, so it is better to arrive 2 hours early and stand in line to get a ticket, or purchase a ticket from a guided tour. I chose the guided tour route. It was a good decision.
We arrive at the main entrance/gate.
Our friendly tour guide gives us information about our tour, the where to go, how long we have, and when to be back at the bus.
Out slot for visiting the USS Arizona Memorial is 8:15 AM.
The recovered anchor of the USS Arizona. Notice the Battleship USS Missouri Memorial and the USS Arizona Memorial in the background of this picture.
Another view of the Battleship USS Missouri Memorial and USS Arizona Memorial.
Other landmarks and educational info at the Pacific National Monument.
The USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park
I enter one of the exhibits in the area. Look at this damaged torpedo.
Back in the day, the loyalty of thousands of ethnically Japanese Americans was questioned – all because of the facial features. It is very similar to the sentiment of what is going on today. We should learn from our mistakes in history.
Time to visit the Pearl Harbor Memorial Theater, prior to the visiting the USS Arizona Memorial.
The short 20 minute or so film begins.
We get on the boat.
And arrive at the USS Arizona Memorial.
A view of the Battleship USS Missouri from the boat dock.
It is time to enter.
Oil still seems out from the USS Arizona. And you can see it clearly.
A view of the Battleship USS Missouri from the USS Arizona Memorial.
A panoramic view from inside.
Names of the fallen.
The structure of the Battleship USS Arizona.
It is time to head back.
We arrive back on the Pacific National Monument boat dock.
And concluded our visit to the Pacific National Monument.
Time to get back on the bus, and get back to Kathy and Hank’s.
Getting up to see Pearl Harbor was hard. I didn’t sleep very well, but I also did not want to miss this opportunity. I’m grateful that Justin joined me. He was almost ready to sleep in, and skip it.
When we arrived at the Pacific National Monument, I noticed a large contingent of Japanese people. Not Japanese-Americans, but Japanese. I was beginning to think the Japanese appreciate our War Memorials and War History more than we do.
The entire experience of Pearl Harbor was a mixed-bag for me. I felt disconnected from the experience, but appreciative of the sacrifice of many military members. It was another generation’s 9-11, and something I never lived through. I could only attempt to relate to it, through my experiences of 9-11 – my generations Pearl Harbor moment.
At the end of the visit, I felt the solemnity of the moment.
Pearl Harbor Tours: $48.16
Breakfast: $10.00 (Hot Dog Stand)