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Old 01-03-2014, 01:54 AM   #211
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Originally Posted by Dlandmom2 View Post
Sorry about the traffic! I had to go check and see if it was a weekday for you, and sure enough it was! You were stuck in the regular morning commuter traffic as Aulani is in the "suburbs" and most of the work is in town in Honolulu.
So we quickly realised... the traffic was 100 times better on the Sunday we flew over to Maui.

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And Waikiki traffic isn't much better. Almost every tourist rents a car, so it's hard to get away from the traffic with so many tourists coming and going.
Ok, well at least we know that for a return trip...

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I'm glad you weren't terribly late to Pearl Harbor. I hope that didn't mess up your plans for the day.

Looking forward to hearing your thought about the Arizona. I've only been once many years ago, and the feeling I got standing on the memorial is still with me. It's not something that ever goes away.
You are so right - I'm sure it's something that will stay with us for many years to come.
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Old 01-03-2014, 02:01 AM   #212
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When, I visited Pearl Harbor (back in 2001 on my return from New Zealand and Australia), I had a package for it, which I purchased back home through my travel agency. It was just the tour of the USS Arizona Memorial and the orientation beforehand, along with a round trip trolley pass to get there. I gave myself plenty of time to get there and still got there only about ten minutes prior to my scheduled a.m tour. Probably around 10 am. The traffic is unbelievable. Like I said yesterday, it took a good 45 minutes or so from Waikiki to Pearl Harbor by trolley.
Wow, sorry you had the same problems as us with traffic.

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I was staying a bit east of the Royal Hawaiian on Waikiki. About a ten minute walk from there. Forget the exact name of the place I was staying at but there was a Hyatt nearby and the name of my hotel had some chain name followed by Circle Hotel. It was on Waikiki Beach basically and you only had to cross the boulevard in front of the hotel to get to the beach. Right in front of my hotel is where they had the sundown ceremonies each night. That was convenient as I enjoyed those!
It sounds lovely.
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Old 01-03-2014, 02:04 AM   #213
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Tuesday 5 November – part two: a very sobering experience

When we arrived, we headed in bag less, as they ask, which was a novel feeling for me, as I’m used to having at least a handbag with me. We went straight to the ticket desk, and the guy told us that we’d have no problem getting into the 8:15am, and we didn’t.

First, you go through the Memorial Theatre, where you see a 23-minute documentary film on the December 7, 1941 attack. The footage in this is amazing, and I certainly learnt a huge amount about the attack that I didn’t know before. The Japanese general who ordered the attack didn’t believe in war with the States, but did what he was told to do. When the planes were first spotted by radar on the north side of Oahu, the radar operator alerted people, only to be told not to worry, as they were expecting American planes in that day from California. How lucky were the Japanese with that?

The devastation was just horrendous. The image of the ships being hit, with some of them exploding, as their ammunition stores went up looked almost like nuclear explosions. It’s hardly surprising, when you see these, that so many people died on those ships.

When the film finished, we headed out to our boat to head over to the USS Arizona Memorial. It looks a heck of a long way away from the visitor centre, but once you’re out on the water, you move fast, and I’d say it probably only takes about seven minutes maybe.


The Memorial Theatre

You can see the USS Bowfin, which we visited later, to the right of the shot


On the way, you start to see where some of the ships were anchored during the attacks.



You’re told that you can’t take any photos on the pier on the way in, but you can take as many as you like when you leave, which is clever, as by then, people have generally got all the photos they need. Not me of course… and I did just sneak this one as we boarded the memorial.



For those who aren’t familiar with the story, and I’m sure you all are, the USS Arizona was one of the American battleships sunk when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour on 7 December 1941. She went down with the loss of 1,177 lives, and having seen the footage from that fateful day, I cannot believe anyone actually survived it.

The memorial has been built over the remains of the Arizona, which contains many of those bodies, and it’s very sobering to see bits of the Arizona beneath you. I was expecting a very sober atmosphere on board, and to a certain extent there was, but it was nice to have the park ranger out there talking to people about what had happened, and answering people’s questions, as it meant that it wasn’t completely silent out there, which was what I’d been expecting.




At one end are the names of those who lost their lives, and for me, this was the most sobering part of the memorial. It’s beautifully done…



… but the bit that got to me was this bit:



To think that, all those years on, these men wanted to return to the site where so many of their comrades died just brings it home to you how much of an impact the events of this day must have had on them.

I carried on walking around taking photos of the bits of the Arizona we could see…


The USS Missouri Memorial



…. And the fuel that’s still leaking from it. We could actually smell it at times while we were there, which was a bit surreal, and not what I was expecting.



The park ranger was talking, and most of our group, Mark included, went over to listen to him, but as this opened up photo opportunities, I took my time getting all the shots I wanted. The ranger was describing some of these, which were fascinating to see:



As well as the memorial, I did get some shots of the surrounding area as well…



Next: contemplating and remembering
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Old 01-03-2014, 04:12 AM   #214
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Thank you for sharing. I hope to some day visit and pay my respects to this memorial
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Old 01-03-2014, 06:27 AM   #215
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A very well done memorial, sounds like the film would be very interesting.
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Old 01-03-2014, 09:35 AM   #216
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I remember visiting and seeing the leaking fuel, as if the Arizona continues to bleed all these years after the attack. Looking down into the water I saw small, bright tropical fish darting in and around the wreck - it was such a dichotomy - a place of death, surrounded by so much life.
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:01 AM   #217
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Your account and photos brought me to tears. I can only imagine how moving this must be in person.
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:26 AM   #218
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It gave me goosebumps. You are doing a wonderful job reporting it. My great grandfather was a survivor, and though I never knew him (he died when I was 3 months old) I have heard stories he told about that day. It truly was horrific.
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:56 AM   #219
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Great pictures from the Memorial! What a sobering sight it must have been. I can assume that those that did survive had a huge amount of survivor's guilt after so many of their comrades were lost, and felt they belonged there back with them when their time came! Thanks for sharing! Hope to get there one day!
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:28 AM   #220
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Very well done.
I, too, can't believe fuel is still leaking. Wow!
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:29 AM   #221
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Even in pictures and words, Pearl Harbor is a sobering sight.
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Old 01-03-2014, 12:32 PM   #222
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I remember visiting and seeing the leaking fuel, as if the Arizona continues to bleed all these years after the attack.
Beautifully put.

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Looking down into the water I saw small, bright tropical fish darting in and around the wreck - it was such a dichotomy - a place of death, surrounded by so much life.
I bet that was quite the sight and, once again, you've put it into words so well.
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Old 01-03-2014, 12:34 PM   #223
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It gave me goosebumps. You are doing a wonderful job reporting it. My great grandfather was a survivor, and though I never knew him (he died when I was 3 months old) I have heard stories he told about that day. It truly was horrific.
I obviously knew it had happened and the details of how many died, but if it makes sense, until you see it for yourself, you can't imagine it. Seeing it brought it home to me just how horrific that day was.
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Old 01-03-2014, 12:39 PM   #224
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Thanking for sharing the pictures. The picture of the internment really brought tears to my eyes.
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Old 01-03-2014, 01:06 PM   #225
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What a truly sobering experience.
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