The Heartlinks tour of Pearl Harbor

arizona airshot December 7, 1941. The day of infamy. All these things come to mind and more. If you knew anyone involved in WWII thoughts of them come to your mind.

"Less than two hours later, 2,280 American servicemen and 68 civilians were dead, 1,109 were wounded, eight battleships were damaged and five sunk. Three light cruisers, three destroyers, and three smaller boats were lost, along with 188 aircraft."

"The biggest loss that day was the USS Arizona, on which 1,177 crewmen were killed when a 1,760 pound bomb smashed through her decks and ignited her forward ammo magazine causing a terrible explosion. Fewer than nine minutes later she was underwater."

The above was an excerpt from the article at http://www.infoplease.com/.

The Arizona with her 1,102 dead entombed and the Utah with 58 dead entombed were the only ships not subsequently salvaged. Most saw action later in the war.

Don't go to Pearl Harbor with a tour group, or if you do, make time to return. Plan on spending the better part of a day here. You cannot prepare yourself for the emotional impact of your visit to the Arizona. Also do the things we didn't, see the Missouri and the Utah.

The morning of our visit, I had bought RoseMary a lei, for no other reason than I thought she should have a fresh set of flowers for the day. We got separated on the memorial, and as the feelings of peace, wonder and gratitude flowed over me, I wished for a set of flowers to pay homage to the men and women, not only on the Arizona, but tribute to those living and dead who bought victory so dearly in World War II.

Suddenly I noticed a splash of color floating on the water. Ryan and RoseMary had read my mind and decorated this watery grave with that brightly colored lei I had bought just an hour or so before.

Our visit brought to mind the words spoken by a great president during another war on another battlefield:
"We cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here."

I had thought I would describe our emotions at the memorial, but find that I cannot. It is something that must be experienced first-hand. One of my daughters told RoseMary "When you go to the Arizona Memorial, take lots of Kleenex". You won't need the Kleenex on the Heartlinks virtual tour which starts here. Some emotions just can't be captured by electronics bombarding a computer screen.

I have included below some of the best Pearl Harbor links that I have found.

http://www.onlineschools.org/pearl-harbor-remembered/

A great resource for information about the attack on Pearl Harbor.

http://members.home.net/wmhughes/memorial.html The Utah Memorial
http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/Barracks/3136/ The history of the Utah
The Utah was a pre-WWI battleship that, to fulfill treaty limitations, was reconfigured as a target ship. The Japanese attack force had specifically been ordered to not waste their time and ammunition on the Utah, an order that was ignored in the heat of battle. Some of the men entombed were trapped because of the plywood that had been laid on her decks during the last training exercise. As a target ship, she was responsible for the training that of our naval fleet had.
http://www.combinedfleet.com/kaigun.htm The Japanese side

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