Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Pearl Harbor on Memorial Day Part 1

The New Magnum PI

Woke up Bright and early in Paradise on memorial day... Who could possibly complain or feel low on that situation Honoring Americas finest on the day in the place with the military... Well not to be selfish- me. I miss my baby Axel and wife Angie. They are in Philadelphia at the parade with my marine Father in law. I wish I could be with them.

Axel wearing his USMC Gear Thanks to Pop Pop Schroeder

Gym walk and then prepared for a super emotional afternoon. We are going to pearl harbor.

We get to the gate of the memorial- now I know to go through this, I will get emotional. I love World War 2 and get really upset when I listen to books on tape or interviews on WW2 especially the Pacific Theatre. I try to go in in a good and respectable mood but walk heavy because I know what is behind that wall.

Alfred Rodrigues Wrote a book called "Diary of a Pearl Harbor Survivor". I won't give anything away but He was on the SS Washington and the son of a native Hawaiian.. These guys are amazing people and need to keep the story alive.

Sterling Cale was attacked in Pearl Harbor and was one of the first to notice the Japanese planes after the attack was in charge of removal and burial of the bodies on the Arizona, served though WW2 with 1st Marine division at Guadalcanal, 5th Regiment in Korea and Sargent Major in Vietnam- a true American hero now volunteers at the memorial.

Sterling Kale and Alfred Rodrigeues are rock stars here

I believe his name is Stratton- survivor of the SS Arizona His Body was 70% burned. A true American Hero

There where several moments especially during survivors speaking (even on video) that welled me up. Two or three times Jim asked if I was ok. I was- in fact writing this I am getting emotional thinking about it- as Colonel would say... "Its a low T day".

We did the main land stuff and watched the videos- I was moved but we now had to actually go out on a boat to see the sunken ship.
The Arizona- With some of the crew still inside. Oil still pours from the bow. When sailors who made it out eventually die they have navy divers take their urn and ashes down to the ship so they can rest in peace with their fallen sailors.
Imagine that commitment- when they left the Navy and made it out of WW2, got married and continued life BUT always holds their brothers with them throughout life
 These are men who had and still have a connection that will be with them forever, rest eternally with them. There are so many moments I felt I know what it must be like- but in reality I do not. This generation of men- what they call the greatest generation has a code that I feel has slowly faded away. EXCEPT when I meet our men and women in our armed forces.. that's when I realize we have hope.

This started choking me up- these two (who I wished I talked to) read everyone's name on the wall

Blown away by this afternoon- we loaded in the car- quiet and moved.