Pearl Harbor Honor Flight – Day Two Begins Early
Monday morning found most of us awake and ready to go by five AM. We headed for breakfast at the submarine base mess hall, the Silver Dolphin Bistro. Eating was an after thought as our Pearl Harbor survivors met with other active duty sailors, officers, other survivors and young navy cadets. Animated conversations were followed by “Thank you for your service” and hand shakes.
Following breakfast, we went to the submarine memorial, pausing at the plaque of subs lost during the war and talking with other area visitors.
Pearl Harbor Honor Flight Time for Some R&R
Next stop: Hilo Hatties. Shortly after our arrival, the hula performances began. Drums and hips rolled and hands told stories as only Hawaiian Hula dancers can. George Mills recalled how his late wife, Veronica, used to dance for Hilo Hattie.
Pearl Harbor Honor Flight Visits the USS Arizona Memorial
Later in the afternoon, our heroes boarded the Admiral’s barge for a boat tour of Pearl Harbor with a historian and the Commander, Navy Base Pearl Harbor. Pearl Harbor survivors from all around the country were on board for this special voyage. As we moved around the harbor, the historian refreshed our memories of which ship was tied up where and pointed out other landmarks. The barge stopped near sunset at the Arizona Memorial. Our survivors went into the memorial and paid their respects to fallen comrades, over a thousand service men killed on this ship, including all twenty-one of the Arizona band members, known to our survivor Frank Emond.
Before the harbor tour was over, Cass Phillips came to me and asked to take a photo of him with a comrade, a fellow he just met who had been in his squadron in the Aleutian Islands. They had shared acquaintances but never met until now.