9.02.2015

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Tour

The Pearl Harbor Remembrance Tour was part of the VR-51 Change of Command festivities this time around and we were up early and on our way after a quick run for me. I was glad I looked this event up before we packed as there was a bit of a dress code for civilians and military personnel.

Please note the following:

1) Check in is at 8:30am at the COMPACFLT Boathouse.

2) Active duty military: uniform E-7 and above is Summer Whites

3) Civilian guests: Please ensure you are wearing appropriate attire. From the attached information flyer: "High heels, flip-flops of any kind, sandals without a back strap, short skirts, extremely inappropriate short shorts, cut offs, drug or alcohol related tops, and tank tops are NOT allowed. Sandals with back straps are accepted but not recommended. Comfortable closed-toe shoes are recommended."

We met everyone at the COMPACFLT Boathouse, down the road from the Arizona Memorial. We were told to be there by 8:30am and showed up at 8:15am. The event didn't start until 9am so we wandered a bit and I admired the knot board that someone had made. T and I were sharing a beach cottage on the military base with some neighbors from his childhood, Cathy and Bob. While we waited Cathy and I asked for a bit of line (rope) and mastered the Spanish Bowline after getting a lesson from the navy boatman and YouTube.

The Rememberence Tour started with a movie about Pearl Harbor and then moved into a small museum room with original photos. From there we boarded a small boat and toured Pearl Harbor (not this boat, but a boat next to it....).

Right about this time I was very glad I had read about the dress code. This event was a memorial of sorts and a history lesson. I like history and seeing all of Pearl Harbor up close was very moving. We toured battle ship row and stopped by the ex-battleship Utah that had capsized when hit by two torpedoes. The navy tour guide told us there were 64 soldiers and a baby girl buried on board. It turns out one of the soldiers had the ashes of his baby girl with him to scatter at sea when the boat was attacked and capsized. The tour guide said they now say, on the Utah is a baby girl guarded by 64 men.

You can see the part of the Utah in the photo below.

We continued up battleship row and each dock had the name of the boat that was docked there during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Eight battleships were attacked and four of them sunk. All but the Arizona were raised and returned to service during the war. The Arizona was attacked and sunk during Pearl Harbor having the greatest number of casulities at 1177 lives lost. It was decided to not raise the Arizona and instead a memorial was created to honor those who lost there lives during Pearl Harbor. The USS Arizona Memorial was our last stop on the Remembrance Tour.

Bob (T's old neighbor) was a marine who had served in Vietnam. He brought a flag to fly at the Arizona Memorial and T's brother helped him raise the colors.

I spent some time wandering the Arizona memorial and saying my silent thanks to all the service men and women who have served our country. I don't always agree with what the govenment does with them, but I am greatful to have the freedom and safety the military provides. The lives lost in the world's military chess game weigh heavily on me at times and this place brought those feelings to the top of my heart. It truelly was a Remembrance Tour and I felt honored to attend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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