My 2014 Retirement Trip Hawaii travel blog

These signs are all over Hawaii marking significant tourist sites.

Entering the USS Arizona Memorial National Historic Park - mostly open air

A memorial with plaques for each of the ships that served from...

Inside the Park - it was open air and free flowing -...

All but three of the ships damaged or sunk in Pearl Harbor...

The Park had explanatory boards showing exactly how the attack on Pearl...

Map of Pearl Harbor

Information board discussing Japan's preparations for the attack

The Arizona Memorial from the across the harbor looking from the Historical...

After seeing a movie on the attack a ferry shuttled us across...

We had breakfast at 6:30am and while we were at breakfast the bellmen brought our checked bags to the lobby. Just a word about that. As part of the cost of our trip Road Scholar tips the bellmen, the bus drivers, the waitresses, etc. That is all included in the cost of the trip. We don't have to worry about carrying small bills around to tip and then wonder if that was enough. Makes things easier.

We were at the Lihue Airport at 8:15 am. We had a perfect flight to Honolulu arriving at 10:20. Our bus driver drove up right after we all had our luggage and we went to a restaurant on Pearl Harbor for lunch getting there about 11:00 - arriving early - and leaving the restaurant early - to give us more time at the USS Arizona Memorial National Historic Park.

We did not have time to see the entire Park in great detail. We were there mainly to see the film about the bombing of Pearl Harbor and see the Arizona Memorial. I really needed to get the headsets that provided a recording of a description step by step through the memorial but wouldn't have had time.

The Park was mostly to honor and remember those who served out of Pearl Harbor but a lot of information was also provided about US and Japan, both becoming world power about the same time, and how life was lived before the war in both countries. There was an explanation that the Japanese general charged with planning the attack knew it had to be a surprise attack and they would get only one chance. He knew if the war was drug out long enough for the US to recover Japan would lose the war. He knew the US would eventually have more resources than Japan.

The movie particularly made the point that the US was preparing for an attack by Japan but the US high command believed the attack would come by destroyers attacking across the sea and eventually on land. They did not think Japan could or would attack by air. This air strike was a major change in the way wars were fought.

There were displays showing where each of the US's ships and planes were at the time of the attack. There were displays showing what happened to each of the ships in the attack. There were plaques listing the names of everyone killed in the Pearl Harbor attack on the island of Oahu (since the entire island was attacked not just the harbor). I didn't realize it but many citizens, including a couple of children were killed.

From the Park, across the harbor, you could see the stark, white Arizona Memorial. After the movie there was a ferry waiting to shuttle us across the harbor to the Memorial. I was not expecting what I saw.

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