... and then repeats itself in Hawaii

Honolulu Travel Blog

 › entry 36 of 40 › view all entries
Welcome to the Aloha State.
Yes... this is the day that will never end.  We began it in Auckland, New Zealand... spent some time in Nadi, Fiji, and now we're in Honolulu, the capital of America's youngest state, Hawaii.  By the time the sun sets on June 18, we will have lived it for 46 hours!  (Yes, we changed our underwear.  Or at least Sheldon and I did; we can't vouch for Miller.)

We went through Customs and Immigration and were given a hearty "Aloha" upon our return to the United States.  Immediately thereafter (and as soon as Miller remembered he needed to drive on the RIGHT side of the road once again) we departed for the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, just west of downtown Honolulu.
The USS Arizona Memorial


Given that my grandfather served in the Pacific Theater during the Second World War and that he lost one of his legs from shrapnel off a Japanese aerial bomb, the events of December 7, 1941, have particular significance for my family.  (In fact, my great-grandmother turned 50 on that fateful day, and my grandfather, already enlisted in the US Army for almost a year, was at home on leave... and soon after his return to Camp Stewart, he and his comrades departed to fight Japan.) 

The line to enter the museum and the memorial stretched down to the street, completely down the sidewalk, and started to loop back on itself.  Sheldon and I were in line for about 30 minutes just to pick up our time ticket and enter the exhibit area, and it was another hour or so before we could board the boat to head out to the memorial itself.
The USS Missouri, where WWII ended.
.. but it was well worth the wait.

I freely admit that during the 25-minute movie that explained exactly what happened before, on, and after December 7, I cried.  The visit carried a great deal of emotion for me... especially when we stepped aboard a Navy-manned boat and quietly rode to the memorial.  In stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of the museum and visitors center, the memorial is eerily quiet.  The shape represents a bridge that rests across the bridge area of the Arizona.  The ship lies just below the surface.  Some parts, such as a gun turret, stick up and gleam in the sun.  Oil still bubbles up from the wreckage that now marks the grave for over 1,100 sailors and Marines. 

In one of the most poignant images within Pearl Harbor, one can stand on the memorial and look eastward out of the bay... and see the USS Missouri, where, in early September 1945, the Empire of Japan formally surrendered to the United States and its allies.  So, within in a mile of one another, you can see where the war started and where it officially ended.

Our day in Honolulu was just starting... we headed to Diamond Head state monument.  We will write more about that and our days on the Big Island and Maui later.  For now... bed time.

-Chris
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Welcome to the Aloha State.
Welcome to the Aloha State.
The USS Arizona Memorial
The USS Arizona Memorial
The USS Missouri, where WWII ended.
The USS Missouri, where WWII ended.
The American flag out on the Arizo…
The American flag out on the Ariz…
Palm trees everywhere!
Palm trees everywhere!
Miller and Sheldon on top of Diamo…
Miller and Sheldon on top of Diam…
The USS Bowfin, a WWII submarine.
The USS Bowfin, a WWII submarine.
the Hawaiian State Capitol.  Its a…
the Hawaiian State Capitol. Its …
The Capitol is open air and has a …
The Capitol is open air and has a…
The Royal Hawaiian Palace before H…
The Royal Hawaiian Palace before …
Hiking up Diamond Head crater.  Th…
Hiking up Diamond Head crater. T…
A view into Diamond Head crater.
A view into Diamond Head crater.
The famous Waikiki Beach.  Last ti…
The famous Waikiki Beach. Last t…
The National Cemetery of the Pacif…
The National Cemetery of the Paci…
At the top of the memorial, lookin…
At the top of the memorial, looki…
Honolulu with Diamond Head in the …
Honolulu with Diamond Head in the…
Honolulu
photo by: crystalware