03 August 2008

Hawaii: Day Six (The Swap Meet and Pearl Harbor)

Saturday, Cody and I left Laie at about 10:30 AM and headed to the swap meet at the Aloha Stadium near Honolulu and Pearl Harbor. We got in for free, thanks to a couple of coupons we got in a magazine from the car rental company.

Actually, that magazine was supposed to be a map book, but instead of coherent maps, it was filled with advertisements and coupons. It didn't help us with navigating the island, but it did save us four dollars at the swap meet.

The swap meet itself was full of trinkets, trash, and some crazy t-shirts. I bought some wasabi peas and some li hing powder for my roommate.

Li hing powder is the stuff they put on sour candy to make it sour. I thought the drug dogs at the airport were gonna find it and think I was carrying something illicit back to the mainland. I have since made it back to the mainland, and was not arrested upon landing. At least I wasn't flying home from Thailand. Another Broke Down Palace situation averted.

After the swap meet, we meandered through the highways and byways of Honolulu, eventually finding our way to the Pearl Harbor Memorial. It actually wasn't that hard to find.

We arrived around 2:15 PM, making it in time for the last tour of the day at 3:00 PM. Before the tour, we were able to wander the museum and read up on the events of and leading up to December 7, 1941. It was very eyeopening to see the faces and personal effects of those that lost their lives that day. They even had letters some of them sent to their families just a few weeks before the attack.

Before we went over to the memorial, we watched a documentary. It really prepared us for what we were about to do.

One thing that caught me off guard was how many Japanese tourists were there. Then, as I got to thinking about it, I realized that if I were in Hiroshima or Nagasaki, I would want to visit their peace memorials and pay my respects to those who lost their lives there.

After we left the theater, we were asked to maintain silence. We walked out onto a dock, boarded a ferry, and went over to the memorial. 1,177 USS Arizona crew members died that fateful day. Many of them are still buried in the hull of that sunken ship.

I was glad to honor their memory on Saturday at the Pearl Harbor Memorial.


Tina said...

I'm so jealous, I want to go there so badly. Lucky guy!

Robyn said...

I've seen Brokedown Palace...you're right...definitely doesn't make me want to travel to Thailand! That's really cool that you got to see Pearl Harbor.

dede said...

still love the fact that you are in your swim gear at Pearl Harbor...

Diane said...

What a great experience. Thanks for taking the time to describe it to us. Glad you're home and all is well. Love ya.

Grandma Hand said...

What a great experience to see the Island but especially the truly humbling and thought provoking memory of Pearl Harbor! War is Hell!! I am glad you got to do the Island thing and then come home safe. We took the same tour twice. Love ya.

Marie said...

I love going to memorials and being able to really appreciate what others have done for this country, and for us. I also love a man in uniform, and I can really admire what he represents after pondering what others have done before. Now I feel like going to a ceremony for the navy and being a keynote speaker.