Last Monday while on Oahu, we visited Pearl Harbor. DH and I had been thirteen years ago, and spent several hours there. This time we did everything, and spent pretty much the whole day. Aside from a small amount of bickering from lack of sleep, the boys had an amazing time. The first thing we did was get tickets for the timed tours of the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial. We arrived around 9:30, and the next available tour was at noon. That gave us time to see some of the other things like the U.S.S. Missouri Battleship and the museums.
The U.S.S. Missouri Battleship was where we went first. A shuttle runs between the main visitors center and Ford Island where the Missouri and the Aviation Museum are. The boys had a great time hearing about the 50 year history of the ship that spanned three wars. One of the stories told by the tour guide, was of a Japanese plane that crashed into the side of it and threw the pilot onto the deck where he was found dead by the military on board, who then followed with a swift sea burial of the pilot. They also enjoyed hearing about the movies that have been filmed on the ship such as Under Siege with Steven Segal.
From there we went back to the main visitors center where we had lunch before visiting the USS Arizona.
Before the tour of the USS Arizona there is a short movie about the events leading up to the war, and the course of the war itself, leading to the surrender of the Japanese. The movie is very moving and shows real film footage of the bombardment and attack on Pearl Harbor. We then boarded a water taxi that took us to the USS Arizona, where you can still see small blooms of black oil rising from it’s depths.
At one end is a wall engraved with the names of those who perished. The atmosphere on the deck is quiet and somber, and several people (I was one of them) became emotional just being on the deck.
I’m glad we didn’t take that tour last, as it would have set a somber mood on the rest of the day.
When we returned from the Arizona, we went to the USS Bowfin, one of the submarines of WWII. One of the things I learned while touring the submarine is that I could never live on one as I’m simply too claustrophobic. For the Bowfin we used a self guided tour with headphones and audio player. One of the things that struck me was the cooks job. All his supplies were kept on the floor below, and he had to go down a ladder through a tiny hole in the floor and bring everything for the meal up through the hole! Whew! Wouldn’t want that job…
Pearl Harbor is a great place to visit to get a little history and insight into WWII. The boys loved it and it was a fantastic day–well worth the trip and the entry fee. It’s an amazing place of remembrance for all those who fought for our country.
What an experience!
It really was. They’ve added to it since we’ve been. And even though we were there all day we still missed one museum. I was wanting to go in that one too because that’s the one with all the artifacts–letters from the soldiers to their loved ones, the loved ones responses, officers medals, stuff like that–very moving, but we just didn’t have time.
Well, at least you did get there–and spent a worthwhile day, besides.
Yes, we did.
Awesome photos!!! My boys would love it there – they love anything military/history oriented.
Thanks! I’m planning a more in depth one on my other blog-TheRomanticTraveler. Lots of kids there–some looked bored, but some really found it fascinating, which it is.
Don’t know if you live nearby any army base (or other branch), but nearly all of them have a decent museum you can visit and enjoy. Often, the admission is free, and you can make a donation if you like.
And if you ever find yourself in New Orleans, the WWII museum there is well worth going to check out!
We lived in NO for three years, and I don’t remember that-not sure we got to it, but I will definitely check it out when we go back to visit! Thanks for the tip! I’m sure there are some around here, and of course DC is close, we’ve been to the one there. I’d like to go back soon.
The one in NO was only built about 10 years ago, so it is “newish”
No wonder…we were there from 91-94, so it wasn’t there when we were.
way kool post. I remember going there many times as a kid and the gravity and uniqueness of the place just hits you. Awesome pictures (especially liked the chain picture)
Thanks! It was fun going with photography in mind. I felt bad sneaking off during one of the talks to take the chain photo! But I love all the history too. You were lucky to grow up with it!
For some odd reason I’d never thought of Pearl Harbor as being a place one could visit. Thanks for sharing the photos!
You are welcome… And I know, when we hear Pearl Harbor we think of the event, not the location. If you visit though, you will think of it as a place first and event second. Thanks for stopping by!
I loved my time in Hawaii and was really moved when we spent time at the harbour. I did a post on Pearl Harbour as well and hope to return again when I make my way back to Hawaii next year. We should never forget the sacrifices made during that time!
This sounds like an awesome experience for you and your family. I’m sure it was an emotional experience as well.
It was, but we really thought it was so worthwhile.
Good photo essay on Pearl Harbour.
Thanks! I really loved being there.
Thanks for the quick mention! Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl is the new kid on the block!
i also have a travel blog, where I had planned on going into more detail! Thanks for visiting my post! Your place is fabulous!