Pearl Harbor

Joseph and I made it to Honolulu on Friday (7/27) to begin our “Father/Son” trip to Hawai’i! We stayed at Waikiki beach.

On my birthday (7/28) we toured Pearl Harbor. It was a very solemn experience. Having long studied the events leading up to, the day 12/7/41, and what followed… it was moving to see the place, be on the Harbor waters, and see the sky once full of flame and smoke.

The Arizona Memorial is being repaired. We were not allowed to board the memorial. The Memorial includes (middle picture, left edge of memorial wall) a cut out that is the architects interpretation of the tree of life. What an inspiring image above the tomb of so many who fell that we might be free. Over 1,100 sailors perished when the Arizona’s ammunition magazine was blown up by an enemy bomb.

After our Harbor tour thanks to Navy transport, we toured the USS Missouri. We toured one of her sister ships, the USS Wisconsin at Norfolk, VA, on a previous vacation a couple of years ago. The top image is the lead Chaplin’s quarters. Joseph and I were surprised the religious leader on ship had better accommodations than the top Marine onboard. Then we have a picture of Joseph marveling at some early computer tech. Then Joseph trying to order from the ship’s snack shop, which was full of vintage candy. The next two pictures relate to the Japanese surrender which happened on the deck of the USS Missouri per President Truman’s request. The final picture I took from the open bridge of the USS Missouri across her forward turrets toward the Arizona Memorial. It was cause for reflection to be on the ship where WWII ended while looking at the place where events compelled the USA to enter the conflict.

As an aside, as a pilgrim in Europe earlier this summer, I was in several conversations about WWII with Pilgrims of other countries whose country experienced that conflict differently and far longer then we. Those conversations were full of broadening perspective and differing experiences of suffering. Specifically I recall dinner with a recent retiree from the World Bank who celebrates the long period of peace following WWII and credited global efforts such as the UN and World Bank for preventing another global conflict and many advances such as average life span. We have so much to celebrate.

We spent most of the day touring Pearl Harbor. The day ended with my birthday dinner at this restaurant chosen by my son. The fish n chips were delicious.

We are on to Maui for the remainder of the week.

Buen Camino!