Pearl Harbor is not like any other museum experience. One must prepare for this excursion. I get up at 0530 in the morning in anticipation of getting free tickets. Driving to Pearl from Waikiki is a half hour and I want to be sure to be there in time to stand in line to get tickets especially for my girlfriend who has never been. Yes. FREE. Tour guides ask for top dollar to take you to this site. Tourism is high up as a way of making a living on the islands. I think the price they ask is a bit high. I was quoted $115/person. I rented a car..
While driving along Palm Circle on Fort Shafter, I was brought back to another time. It was here I experienced Hawaiian life first in 1969 as an army brat. This base was named after General William R. Shafter who liberated Cuba in 1898. It is also the oldest military base on the island.
Many of my Alabama family and friends will appreciate the hound’s tooth dress my mother made and wore on a beautiful hawaiian day when dad received honors for his army career on the island. Over a quarter of a century before this photo was taken, Fort Shafter was hit by Japanese bombers who targeted its artillery. It is on the field above where you see the young service men and women raising our flag that we sustained casualities. The famous movies Pearl Harbor and Tora, Tora, Tora were filmed on location here.
Above you will see the second post I lived on. This base is the largest outside the continental United States called Scholfield Barracks. I captured in this photo buildings that you can see if you were to watch the classic film From Here To Eternity.
Mother always dressed my sister and I up in clothes she made for us while living on the Hawaiian bases. Who would have ever thought a little over 25 years before this photo was taken Japanese pilots would warm up their guns above us before bombing our Army Air Corps pilots’ home base Wheeler Army Airfield?
Perhaps Hawaii’s most famous scenic picture I took is of Pearl Harbor itself. It is underneath this structure you can see the remains eerily of the sunken Battleship Arizona. It is this tourist spot visited by millions that led to the United States entering WWII.
I hope you enjoyed learning alittle history not only about your blogger, but about the Hawaiian Islands. It is good for us to understand why we are comfortable today as I titled this post, but also to keep in mind that our defense needs to stay our priority if we want to continue to stay that way.
Since landing in Honolulu, I have been going nonstop. This is a place where memories are indeed made. For me fortunately, many past childhood thoughts came flooding back as I embarked on visiting my past homes on the island of Oahu. I lived here for over four years from 1969-1974. Come down memory lane with me, but first let’s stop at Pearl Harbor. It was today, I was approached by two young adults traveling from their homeland of Japan. They seemed to be working on some school project and handed me a paper with historical questions they politely asked me to answer.
We quickly became friends and are now following each other on Instagram. I was touched by their genuine desire to know my reactions to Pearl Harbor. However, today we stood together gladly not allowing the past to identify who we are in the present. As an American, I welcome my new friends to my country.