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Pearl Harbor Memorial

As someone who was born and raised in Oahu, Hawaii, there are many fascinating places. One place that sticks out the most is the Pearl Harbor Memorial. The Pearl Harbor Memorial is a harbor that is located on the westside of Honolulu (The capital of Oahu). The Memorial honors all of the fallen soldiers that died when the ship sank in 1941. Most of the people that died on the ship were trapped in a boiler room that was in a lower part of the ship. Those people still have their bones and remains at the bottom of the Harbor along with the sunken ship. When at the Memorial you can look down to see parts of the ship in the water that still remain there today. Some soldiers that have lived through the war who have recently died, even have had their ashes spread in the water where the ship had sunk, so that they’re with their former veterans. 

(Courtesy of Nikki Calzada)

The Memorial starts off with going into the theater where a tour guide explains the expectations for guests when on the memorial. You then enter the boat that takes you out of the memorial. The boat ride is about five minutes long and holds up to 150 people per boat. When you enter the memorial there is a ramp that takes you to the middle of the Memorial. When walking in the middle you can see parts of the docking pier that belonged to each one of the ships. When walking on both sides of the memorial you see different parts of the sunken ship which were mostly the tips of the boat. When looking on the side near the ship parts sticking out of the water you might see a rainbow reflection in the water which is the leakage of the oil coming from the ship underwater. The Memorial was built on the middle part of the ship, kind of like a cross. Meaning that the ship is horizontal while the memorial is built vertical. When reaching the end of the Memorial there is a  huge white marble wall that honors the veterans that lost their lives. As well as two smaller stones on each side that include the names of Veterans who survived the attack but have recently passed away. 

The rest of the Memorial’s center is full of museums that show lots of pictures and have information on different topics that are related to the attack of Pearl Harbor. Some of the main topics were Japanese Spies on Oahu, The first and the second wave of attack, and the Japanese plan to attack us Americans. In the Museums there were also models of things like the size of the bombs that were dropped onto the ship and in the water. There is also USS Bowfin, which is permanently docked at the Pearl Harbor site. The Bowfin is a submarine that was used to attack the Japanese in World War II. At the Memorial you can get a tour of the inside of the Submarine and even stand on top of it. The USS Missouri is a boat that brought the Japanese and the Americans to sign the Declaration of Surrender. On September 2, 1945. It is also permanently docked and is available for tours at the Memorial. Lastly, when you exit the boat you can see a beautiful view of the harbor where there is a circle of royal blue medal stone

s that are labeled with the location of everyone’s death during the attack. 

(Courtesy of Nikki Calzada)

The history behind the attack is very interesting. They were attacked by the Japanese Military on December 7, 1941. It was a surprise attack that took place at 8:00 AM on a Sunday morning. The war left more than 2,400 Americans dead and another 1,000 wounded. Japanese fighter planes, who were the ones that attacked, destroyed close to 20 American Naval Vessels, including 8 battleships and over 300 airplanes. The three main reasons are because the Japanese wanted an expansion in the Pacific, they increased need for natural resources, and restrictions. Japanese Military on December 7, 1941. The day after the attack President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared war on Japan. This was called the Battle of Midway. American aircrafts then destroyed Japan by dropping many bombs on their land until they eventually surrendered. In the process they took out many of Japan’s trained Naval pilots and its first-line carrier strength. The Japanese then signed the Declaration of Surrender which eventually ended the war. 

The attack of Pearl Harbor is a tragedy that will forever be remembered by generations. Local Hawaii Resident Silvia Koch says “The bombing of Pearl Harbor was a very sad tragedy that forever changed Hawaii’s history. It is what caused America’s appearance in World War II and it caused thousands of peoples death”. Pearl Harbor is important for people to remember because it reminds everyone of the events that happened in Oahu and it’ll let more and more Ameriucans learn about what happened that day. Every December 7 is known as Pearl Harbor Remembrance day.

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