Walt's Look Around: Pearl Harbor, Hawaii - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

Walt's Look Around: Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Archives Source: WLBT Archives
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT

I had heard that the traffic around Honolulu was bad. That was an understatement. There is no "rush" to the morning rush hour inbound. Fortunately, we were outbound. Heading to one of the most hallowed places on planet earth - Pearl Harbor.

It was at Pearl Harbor on Sunday morning, December 7, 1941, that a Japanese surprise attack on the United States fleet docked there ushered this country tight into the middle of the second world war.

Today the harbor is a national park, and a floating monument straddles the sunken USS Arizona still sitting on the bottom below it. One-thousand one-hundred seventy-seven men died aboard the Arizona; most are still entombed there. The Arizona Monument over the decades has come to represent all who died in Pearl Harbor and over time, more and more becomes a monument to the entire war in the Pacific.

We were among the first of the tour groups visiting the USS Arizona Memorial Park on the very day most of it was closed for an extensive remodeling. We managed to see the movie in a makeshift open air theater and walked around the other displays before taking our turn on the launch out to the memorial itself.

The flag over the memorial flies on a flagpole attached to the mast of the Arizona down below. From viewing ports, the bow and the stern of the ship are marked by buoys.

A clear view of the vessel is seen through a large hole in the floor of the monument directly above the ship. After nearly 70 years, oil is still seeping to the surface from the Arizona. Some say the ship is still bleeding, others call it the tears of the sailors and marines entombed there.

Back in 1987, the number of the dead on the vessel began to increase again as survivors of the crew of the Arizona began passing away and requesting that their remains be placed on board with their shipmates.

The Park Service gladly obliges, sending a single diver with an urn of the ashes of the deceased to be added to the roster of the dead on the Arizona.

It's a moving experience to be here. Then to look around at the island and the city that is once again paradise. Partly because of the sacrifice of the dead below our feet, below the water inside the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

©2010 WLBT. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Powered by Frankly