Friday, September 21, 2007

Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor is a must for anyone visiting Oahu. After all, imagine the horrified expressions you’d see if you told someone you didn’t bother going to Pearl Harbor... And when the guidebooks say get in line early, they aren’t kidding. Matt and I were in line at 7:00, and the line was already pretty long. They started handing out tickets at 7:30, and by the time we got to the gate, they were already on the third group. Lucky for us, there happened to be two tickets left over for the second trip – there was a tour group in front of us that wanted to stay together – so we only had about 10 minutes to wait before we saw the video. The video and trip out and back to the Arizona only lasted a little over an hour.

WWII is not one of the times in history that particularly fascinates me – I’m much more interested in the 1600s through the 1800s. Having said that, though, I did find the video they show before the boat ride out to the Arizona to be rather enlightening. It discussed some of the errors made by the US that allowed the attack to be as devastating as it was, including lining the planes wing to wing on the airfield to prevent internal sabotage, and assuming that the attack planes was a group of US planes returning from a mission.

On the actual memorial, I saw several people from the older generations in tears. Obviously, the site of the Arizona touched them deeply, and for some, I’m sure, brought back memories. I was surprised and impressed by the fact that men who survived the attack on the Arizona could request interment on the ship when they passed. I was also surprised to see that oil is still visible in the water around the memorial.

No comments: