Day 2: Wartime Artefacts
I remember seeing the film “Pearl Harbor” as a child. I was thoroughly freaked out by the violence, which the movie is obviously rank with. I couldn’t sleep for nights because my imagination and memory would be caught in the crossfire and crashing planes. Trauma. Yay.
What first came off as a scare eventually morphed into a point of interest. We tackled the Pearl Harbor attack during history class back in high school and visiting the USS Arizona Memorial was today’s main event.
The sole purpose of a memorial is to make the past real and significant to its visitors. I wasn’t around during WW2. How to get the message across to those like myself and the next generations so that we appreciate the history more deeply?
Answer: Put together the artefacts and place them in a museum. Engrave the names of the perished in stone. Give us a real submarine to touch and examine. Give us portable and playable audio tour guides. We’ll take care of ourselves.
I had a ball touring the USS Bowfin. I’d always wondered about the experience of boarding a vehicle that can submerge itself underwater and fire torpedoes. You know, like a submarine. The tour involved entering the actual sub and examining all its chambers.
I was intrigued to discover that some beds were set up literally on top of the stored torpedoes in the torpedo room. Claustrophobia aside, there was a certain old charm in seeing the pieces of machinery idling in the engine rooms. While hardware nowadays is streamlined and sleek, such things back in the day were a pieces of eye candy in themselves. (No intention of using “eye candy” to reduce the seemingly masculine vibe of the machines. These beasts should make it on history’s Top 100 Badass Things You Must Operate Before You Die.)
The museum features several interesting things: journals, letters, medals, ship replicas and uniforms. A personal favorite of mine is a set of primitive diving gear, which reminds me of the imagery employed in “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.”
The tour was well worth it, despite the torturous bus ride. I’m actually okay with riding the bus, but going over long distances with several stops? It drove me mad. I had my iPod but my ears eventually grew tired of listening so I had to rest my them from the prolonged listening. My behind hurt from all the sitting (Yes. Sitting.), too. It was that long. Thankfully, a Waikiki shuttle service picked us up from the Memorial and drove us straight back. I even got to converse with an old British couple during the trip. Love the accent!
Well, that’s it for Day 2. Hopefully the diving lessons push through on Day 3. Later!