On Tuesday morning, the day following our island tour we again got up at the crack of dawn, this time to make our way to the Pearl Harbour memorial. We walked around the Visitors' Centre which started with a nice remembrance walk alongside the water with a number of memorial sites to those that died and some old missiles. There were also two great walk though galleries, which were like museum exhibits, which gave a bit of context about the road to war between Japan and America and details about the day of the Pearl Harbour attack and the aftermath from American and Japanese perspectives.
Next up was a short documentary about the day of the attack with some actual firsthand footage and then we boarded a boat which took us out the USS Arizona memorial, which is in the photo. The memorial actually sits over the sunken remains of the battleship and acts as a shrine, grave marker and memorial to the 1200 or so people who died aboard the ship when a bomb hit and exploded the Arizona's magazine room, pretty much instantly killing all on board.
Lastly at PH we chose to go and see the USS Missouri, "the last of the battleships". The ship has a lot of historical significance in that the Japanese surrender was signed on board and it also saw active duty in the Korean and Gulf Wars. It was pretty cool getting to explore the ship and check out it's massive guns, missile launch and navigation systems, and especially the crew's living quarters and just to imagine what life would have been like on board (very cramped!). None of the memorials were overly patriotic and they were all very informative and interesting, the Arizona memorial in particular was quite touching, so all in all we really enjoyed our day at Pearl Harbour.
Caitlin and Tim xo