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Making Family Connections at Pearl Harbor

Posted on June 13, 2011

Picture by Kara Williams

Poignant, inspiring, sad, thoughtful, important. Those are the words I jotted down in my notebook as I toured the newly expanded WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument and associated Pearl Harbor Historic Sites on Oahu earlier this month. To be frank, I didn’t know much about the site before I visited — my childhood introduction to the USS Arizona Memorial was The Brady Bunch TV family’s visit in the 1970s. In a high school history class, I vaguely remember covering the events leading to the United States’ involvement in World War II. In recent years, I rented Pearl Harbor from Netflix.

However, after touring the memorial firsthand, watching a fascinating documentaries about that fateful day, listening to survivors speak emotionally about their distant memories, and walking through museums filled with historic artifacts and memorabilia, I came away with a much more thorough understanding of how the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor affected so many American lives and how and why it altered the course of our nation’s history.

I also found out that my husband’s great grandfather, at the time a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy, was at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. He survived, but 2,390 servicemen and civilians on Oahu that day did not.

Read the rest of the story on TheVacationGals.com.

-Kara Williams

About the Author

Kara Williams blogs about her travels to Hawaii and beyond at TheVacationGals.com and FamilyVacationCritic.com, among other online sites. Learn more about her at KaraSWilliams.com.

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