Thursday, May 29, 2014

Pearl Harbor

Our first island to visit while in Hawaii was Oahu. We spent one night there so we could tour Pearl Harbor. We had to be ready to meet our guide at our hotel in Honolulu at 5:15 AM. Our guide was a native Hawaiian, named Al. He told us that if we didn't get in line at the gate of Pearl Harbor before 7 AM that it can take a terribly long time to enter. We arrived at the gate at about 6:30, and there were probably already 100 people in line. Pearl Harbor is second most visited US monument ever year. Only the Statue of Liberty receives more visitors. Since we had to leave our hotel before they began serving breakfast, we ate granola bars on the way and I got coffee from the snack shop at Pearl Harbor.

 This is one of the anchors that was being used on the USS Arizona the day it was attacked. You can see from the plaque, that it weighs almost 9 tons. The force of the blast sent this anchor sailing 100 yards away from the ship. That is hard to fathom!
 This is the memorial that is seated above where the Arizona rests. 
 The sunken ship is now teeming with marine life, and  it still leaking oil as you can see below.
The ship had been filled to capacity with oil the night before the attack. The ship burned for two days after the attack because of all the oil. 
 This makes up one of the walls inside the memorial. It lists the names of all those who perished in the attack. So sad.

 The area was beautifully landscaped. Birds of Paradise above and Rubber trees below.
The bridge that you can see in the background of the photo above is the Admiral Clarey Bridge, and it is a pontoon (or floating) drawbridge. There are only a few bridges like this in the world. It takes about 25 minutes to retract the bridge.

President FDR's speech that was given to announce the attack on Pearl Harbor. It was interesting to see this with all of the handwritten editing on it. He labored over his words here.
 The Japanese planes were detected by US radar before the attack began. However, they were mistaken for US B-52's that were due to arrive the same day from California.

We had about 3 hours to spend at Pearl Harbor, and we could have spent more time there. I didn't get to see everything at the museum, but I appreciated what I did have time to see.  They show a film with live footage from that fateful day, and that was well worth the time.

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