The next day we headed to Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial. This was one of the main reasons we wanted to spend part of our trip on Oahu. And we were not disappointed. The “tour” began with a 20 minute film about the circumstances surrounding the attack, as well as footage of the attack and the aftermath. Having set the tone, we then were loaded onto a boat for a short ride out to the memorial site.
There is actually not a lot to the memorial itself. It is simply nothing more than a long, open walkway where at the end is a large marble wall that lists the names of all those that perished that day.
However, I cannot begin to explain the feelings it evoked in us as we walked across, and looked down upon that burial ground. It is very true, what they say....you can actually see an oil sheen on the surface from fuel that still seeps from the ship. Here's what Jaime posted on his facebook profile: “Yeah was not prepared for the emotion that overwhelmed me there. I was sad to see so many that saw it only as a tourist stop and not what it truly is. At least everyone was reverent in their speech (volume wise). I saw a name on the memorial, J.R. Hall. Just sharing two initials with one of those heroes all of a sudden made it very personal and very meaningful. Hard to explain...” Like Jaime, I was truly saddened that many people saw it as a photo opp. Especially people younger than us. For us though, it was an incredibly moving experience. One that will certainly leave a lasting impression.
Then, to pick up the mood, we headed to the North Shore for our surfing lesson ! Yes, I said surfing lesson. We had a little time to kill so we had lunch and then decided to indulge in some famous hawaiian shaved ice – yummmm.
When we were planning our excursions, trying to find a surfing lesson, I came across the North Shore Surf Girls. And it was the perfect choice. Unfortunately, Jaime has a bum shoulder and had to throw in the towel after just one wave.....paddling back out was just too painful. I, however, was able to stay out (barely) and catch 3 or 4 waves!!! Oh what a blast =) I have to tell you though, I couldn't believe how shallow it was out there. For most of the time, our instructors could actually stand up. And we could see the bottom!!
OMG! Absolutely incredible, especially for us who grew up on the gulf coast. And the neatest part – we can say we actually caught some waves on the North Shore !!!