Thursday, June 10, 2010

Pearl Harbor, Admiral's Tour and some Diving Board Adventures



Jill and the boys headed out for Vacation Bible School and Dave, Grandma and Grandpa headed for the Admiral's Tour of Pearl Harbor around Ford Island. Dave got us checked in and we wandered around the Admiral's Boat House looking at the pictures etc until everyone arrived. These barges are actually for the use of the Commander of the Navy and his Chief of Staff. They provide a tour for military guests several times a month.
Dave took us into a side room that has a case with flags from all the states, most of the countries, flags for all the military ranks one star and above just in case a dignitary comes to visit. We had a short introduction to the area, descriptions and history of the various barges and then a movie about the Pearl Harbor attack. Then we got on the barge and headed out.
One of the stops was the Memorial for the USS Utah, the remains of which could be seen. There is an interesting history of the USS Utah at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Utah_%28BB-31%29.
This is the southern opening of Pearl Harbor. Very tight for aircraft carriers coming and going...only 4' clearance on each side.
The USS Missouri battleship. This was the site of the Surrender of the Japanese that ended World War II in the Pacific. Dave pointed out a dent in the side of the ship where a kamikazi plane hit it. It is now a Museum Ship at Pearl Harbor. More info at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Missouri_%28BB-63%29.
Approaching the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor. To the right is the flag room, the center has seven open windows on both sides and above symbolizing the continual 21 gun salute for those who lost their lives when the ship sunk. From here you can also view the remains of the ship in the water. Oil still bubbles up from below. Dave said the legend is that when the last man who served on the ship dies, the oil will stop. The left end has a wall of names for all the sailors who died when the ship sunk. A side panel has names of those who have died since that time who survived the sinking and have chosen to have their remains placed in the ship. Each Dec. 7th there is a ceremony to place those remains.

Grandma and Dave at the USS Arizona Memorial. Thanks for a great tour Dave...and special thanks to you for your service to our country! You make us very proud!

Dave went to work, Jill and the boys returned from VBS and we all changed into our suits and headed for the Tower Pool, where the big diving boards are. Colin did a great job jumping off the high board and Ryan off the regular board. Then Colin and John tried out their skills on the climbing wall. It was all a big splash! We met the Barkers there so had some good time together.

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