Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Visiting Pearl Harbor--Dad Fulfills a Dream
Ok, pinch me. Here I am in Oahu with my parents and my sister. Yesterday, we headed out to Pearl Harbor and spent the entire day there. We aren't finished-- we're heading back out there to see the U.S.S. Missouri and Bowfin.
This trip came about quite suddenly and unexpectedly. A few weeks ago, I was up in Michigan, sitting across from Dad and asking him, "If you could go anywhere, where would you want to go?"
He had always wanted to take a trip out to Pearl Harbor to see the place that lead him to spend three years overseas in World War II. Dad fought in Guam, Guadacanal, Okinawa, and stayed after the war for the Occupation of China. When I was growing up, Dad didn't talk much about the war. It was a time that was better left to the dark depths of memory. The older I became, the more I wanted to know about his part in history. So little bit by little bit, he shared some stories.
There were a lot of dark stories, but there were some lighthearted ones as well, such as an amusing moment when he snuck off to grab an ice cream bar only to be called back to attention by the sergeant-- with the ice cream melting away in his pocket.
In the fall of 2007, Dad was reunited with his Marine buddy, Albert. You can read more about that here: Marine Buddies Reunite.
So there we sat that spring morning, talking about our "someday" plans. I looked at Dad and said, "This 'someday' that you're talking about, what's stopping you?"
Well, the next thing that I knew, we booked airline tickets and a hotel. And that's how we ended up in Pearl Harbor yesterday, fulfilling a dream.