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.


Jennifer said...

I love it...I believe that we have our dreams for a reason, and that life should be spent pursuing as many of them as possible!! Awesome!

Sandy said...

Hawaii, history, fulfilling a dream and time with dad... what a wonderful trip! I've always wanted to visit Pearl Harbor too- I look forward to more photos!

Stephen Hopson said...

Great pictures! I feel like I'm on the trip with you guys. Sounds like you're all enjoying the trip, particularly your Dad who is probably having moments of what's that word I'm looking for? Feeling memories from the past. Nogaslitic? Can't get it right.

Anyway, thanks for sharing!

Nita said...

Nostalgic, Stephen :)

Very nice & sweet of you, Karen, to make your dad's dream come true! :)


Jodi Cutler Del Dottore said...

Whoa...seriously beautiful experience and post. That is amazing. My grandfather couldn't talk about the war for such a long time, intense and beyond. Jodi

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy for your Dad and your family being able to go 'together' is a life time opportunity.

A perfect early Father's Day gift! Enjoy the rest of your trip.

D, w/Rianna and Justin

Laurie said...

How wonderful! Hope you are having a great trip! Your actions show that life is too short so why wait? The time is now! You are certainly making a memory for generations to come for your dad and family. That must mean so much to him.

Looking forward to more updates!

Abbie said...

God bless your dad!! These are great pictures! :)

Joanna said...

Karen, what a beautiful story. I bet your parents are so proud to have you as their daughter.


Karen said...

Ah, there's a good lesson here folks, grab your dreams and just make 'em happen!