The feeling I have right at this moment as I start to write this post is one of quiet respect, mournful solitude, prayerful sorrow, and complete and utter sadness for those brave men and women we lost on December 7, 1941 in the attack on Pearl Harbor. This will not be an easy post to write, but, I will try my best to give you the overall feeling of how touring the World War II Valor in the Pacific site affected me.
When I awoke and we were docked alongside Honolulu, my mind started to go to that fateful day and to all of the details that I’ve read in all of the history books; I knew that I was going to experience, in the only way we who were not alive on that fateful day can experience, the horror of the deadly attack on Pearl Harbor that the United States endured. One of the main reasons that I wanted to go to Hawaii was so that I could pay my own respects to all that perished that day and to somehow, even if it was only by my quiet, respectful attitude while on that hallowed ground, convey my thoughts and prayers and most humbled reflection. It was not going to be an easy day for me, but, it was one that I had looked forward to for some time.
All that said, let’s get started…First of all, here is the Princess Patter for that day:
We had also gotten this pamphlet when we first boarded, this gives a list of all of the excursions that were available in Honolulu–We had already made our excursion reservations online before we set sail.
Also, at every port, we got this nice little pamphlet to give us more information about where we were going to be visiting.
The day before we pulled into port, we had received this letter explaining how things would work on our excursion-stringent rules that I was actually quite glad to see. As well, on our excursion tickets, we were asked to dress appropriately…no bathing suits or shorts with holes in them etc…I was really glad to see that too…We were going to a hallowed place, not the beach, and not somewhere that was necessarily going to be fun.
Here is what I chose to wear for this day:
Here was our ticket for our time to see the 20-minute documentary film depicting the attack on Pearl Harbor…We would have time to visit 2 museums onsite before and after the film and subsequent motor launch ride over to the Arizona Memorial.
Here was our motor coach for the day, the bus driver was absolutely awesome, she told story after story, I was brought to tears so many times while listening to her–she also made me laugh too. She was the perfect person to narrate our trip (Princess does such a great job at choosing these companies and their personnel…honestly, they really do).
In route, we caught our first glimpse of the Arizona memorial, we took this picture from the bus:
We parked and we started our tour…
Here are some pictures of the two museums, the first one was “Road to War” and the second one was “Attack”:
I was quite touched as I walked through those two museums, they are very well done!
Next it was time to go and see the 20 minute documentary film–I did not take pictures of that probably because I was quite moved. After the film was over, it was time to take the boat over to the Arizona Memorial.
This is a picture of the type of boat that you ride in over to the Arizona–They run two such boats, this was the one we saw as it was making its way back as we were moving toward the monument in an identical boat:
They pull you up right beside the Memorial…This is a very solemn trip for most including my hubby and I…
To this day, people are still put to rest in the Arizona:
You can still see oil leaking out of the ship:
And the most touching part of the Memorial was this the Honor Wall:
As you read in the first couple of paragraphs of this blog post, I think that you all realize how important this day was to me. I admit that I’m a very patriotic person and I am very proud to be an American. As Americans, when our citizens are hurt, we are all hurt on some level, so touring this Memorial was quite a ‘moment’ in my life for me. All that said, I’m now going to get a little bit negative in my statements here…Just warning you beforehand. I’d appreciate no judgement being hurled my way after the following statements are read, but I cannot remain silent on this issue, so here goes: Now, we all know that I’m the “Selfie Queen”, I’m forever taking Selfies here, there, and everywhere. BUT, you will NOT see a selfie of me in front of this wall, in fact, we had to wait for quite a long time before we could get a picture of this wall without someone standing in front of it SMILING and WHOOPING and HOLLERING while taking their selfies. I was appalled, absolutely appalled at some peoples nonchalant attitudes and their complete disrespect of this most solemn place. It was incredible to me. Now, I realize that we are Americans and that this site might affect us a bit more than some other countries residents…BUT, I would hope that if we traveled and toured a similar site in another country, that we would be respectful and solemn while experiencing such a place. After I saw that display of complete ignorance and disrespect to our fallen, I turned around and got in line and waited quietly in tears for our ride back…While I was standing there waiting, I took this picture…GOD BLESS AMERICA and God Bless all of our fallen warriors and all of those who perished when Pearl Harbor was attacked…
If you’d like to know more about the Arizona Memorial, click here.
Okay, I’m finished with my rant…Onward we go with our day in Honolulu…Now that we had experienced the beginning of the war, we were now on our way over to Mighty Mo to experience the end of the war. Aboard the Missouri is where Japanese envoys Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu and Gen. Yoshijiro Umezu signed their surrender on September 2, 1945 while in Tokyo Bay.
We were given a guided tour and were told all about the Missouri’s illustrious battle career, if you’d like to read more about Mighty Mo, check out this link.
This is one of the guns used to shoot down Kamikazes…
And the Surrender papers…
We then headed back to our motor coach, I was bushed to be honest…more emotionally than physically of course. I was so glad that we came, but, it affected me greatly. Our bus driver took us passed the submarine the USS Bowfin on our way back to our ship…
And here is my hubby’s birthplace, Tripler Army Medical Center. 🙂 Yep, my hubby was born in Hawaii! 🙂
When we got back to our ship, instead of climbing right back aboard, we took a little walk…We saw these gorgeous flowers…
And I’m not sure if any of you saw the “Dirty Jobs” show were Mike Rowe was cleaning windows in Honolulu…Well, here is the hotel where he was working on said windows…
Here is the Star Princess from a distance…Goodness she really is a beauty (I know I say that every time I show a picture of her…hahaha…I’m nothing if not repetitive on that note). 😉
Our day in Honolulu was coming to an end and we were pulling away from the dock and setting sail for Kauai. It had been a day that I’ll never, ever forget as long as I live. I feel so lucky and blessed that I was able to walk on that hallowed ground. The next time we go to Honolulu, maybe we’ll go and see a waterfall or a volcano or something more vacation’ee, but, I will never regret our tours of the Arizona Memorial and Mighty Mo. One more time, I must say…God Bless America! ❤
Next stop…Kauai…Here is a sneak peek and link:
Until next time, y’all take good care! ❤
***One more thing. 🙂 Here is a video that I created of our day in Honolulu after I had finished writing my Hawaii Blog—I also have a YouTube Travel Channel (Arlynn’s Travels):