Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Pearl Harbor

We celebrated the honor, valor and courage of the World War II US servicemen on this very special tour of Pearl Harbor. This nostalgic journey takes you to the two places that marked the beginning and the end of the war for the United States, the USS Arizona and the USS Missouri. At the site of Pearl Harbor, we visited the Arizona Memorial where the remains of the USS Arizona lie silent beneath the waves.  We started the visit by going through the museum and watching a 28 minute film about December 7th. Then on a boat to the Arizona Memorial. Debbie and I both through flowers from Debbie's two Leis into the water above the Arizona to honor those 1127 who died there.
I met a survivor of December 7, 1941, Paul Rodriguez, 94 years old, and I purchased his book.  We saw the USS Missouri from a distance, as well as the submarine, USS Bowfin, but did not board either one.  Over 2400 died that day, almost half on the Arizona. This was a very emotional day.

Heading out to the Arizona Memorial
Almost there
Debbie honoring the brave who paid for our freedom
I honor those who died here
The coral crusted Arizona
Diesel fuel still leaks from the ship, 73 years later
The list of those who died on the USS Arizona. Look to the bottom left of the photo above, this is part of a list of those Arizona sailors who survived the tragedy, but chose to be buried here, at sea, to be with their brothers.  That is true brotherhood.

The anchor in the photo weighs 10 tons.  When the armor piercing bomb penetrated the deck of the Arizona, and blew up the forward ammunition room, this anchor was blown over a quarter of a mile away.
The USS Missouri, where the surrender of Japan was signed.
Debbie and I with Paul Rodriguez, a survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

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