Hawaii Revealed Books Review

People often ask me how we find off the beaten path places the “Where Are You Today?” crew visits. Many of our travel ideas come from reading books, magazines, newspapers and blogs.

The books we use the most are the “Revealed” series of books by Andrew Doughty and Harriet Friedman. The candid reviews tell it like it is. If you are planning a trip to the Hawaiian islands, I highly recommend these books for your trip.

These books were our constant companions on our first trips and enhanced our experience. The activities and hotel information we not sugar coated. The margins of our books are filled with notes and additional facts we add each trip back. The publisher posts updates on a website so the content stays up to date.

Mars? No. Haleakala National Park Maui, Hawaii

Mars? No. Haleakala National Park Maui, Hawaii. Photo credit: Noel F. Williams

Oahu

Oahu was the first Hawaiian island we visited. We purchased for the in depth activity and sightseeing information. Detailed reviews and aerial photos of hotels combined with zoned maps gave us the tools we needed to choose lodging to meet our comfort levels.

We rented a car and planned day trips based on the recommended routes. This book was our user guide as we navigated around the island. When we visited Pearl Harbor, we were glad we followed the suggestions to arrive early to reserve our tickets to visit the Arizona Memorial.

The book includes tips like: “This Chinese restaurant does not serve tea unless you ask for it.”

The section on Hawaiian words and Pidgin or Hawaiian slang proved very helpful.

Maui

Maui was the next island we visited and we were glad to have the

Big Island of Hawaii

On our trip the the Big Island of Hawaii, we made sure to bring

Kauai

When visiting Kauai, check out the

Zen Guide to New Year: Plan Your Goal in January

This January, we took a page from Japan and the Buddhist Zen philosophy as we start the New Year and plan to reach our goals. Our plan began in Honolulu, Hawaii with a Daruma doll.

Japanese Daruma Dolls

Japanese Daruma Dolls

We went to Shirokiya to watch bakers from Japan make Usaguya dorayaki, small pancake-like cakes filled with sweet red bean paste. As the chefs cooked the pastries, they were packaged in pairs and sold. We shared an order of these gooey, filled confections. The pancake was light and fluffy while the warm filling was thick and creamy. Our Twitter friend, Yoshiko, tells us this is a very popular treat in Japan.

Still hungry for more, we roamed the second floor of this Japanese department store where vendors sell traditional Japanese food. Each vendor section, about ten feet wide, is filled with their specialties. We wandered up and down the aisles selecting a variety of dishes and snacks that appealed to us. When we had purchased an assortment of foods from different vendor, we sat at the open area with other shoppers. We sampled tempura, sushi, salads, noodles, rice and mochi.

Daruma Dolls

While at Shirokiya, we purchased this Daruma doll. In Japan, Daruma dolls are given to others to bring good luck. In January, Daruma festivals are held all over Japan and you can purchase Daruma dolls in many sizes. Red is the most common color for these dolls through they also available painted in white, gold, purple, blue, green, pink, orange and white.

These dolls are named for the sixth century Buddhist priest Dharma, the founder of Zen Buddhism. It is said that Dharma achieved enlightenment after sitting motionless in a cave for nine years. During this long meditation, he lost use of his arms and legs.

Daruma dolls are often weighted in the base to keep them upright. When knocked over, they tumble before returning upright. This represents Dharma’s resilience and persistence in pursuing goals.

Usually, the dolls are purchased with the eyes unpainted. When a goal or intention is set, one eye of the doll is painted. When the goal is complete, the second eye is painted and the dolls are saved as a keepsake or burned as offerings during ceremonies at temples.

The “Where are You Today?” crew set our goals for this year and painted in the left eye on our Daruma doll. We wish you and your family a healthy and Happy New Year where you accomplish all your goals.

Click on the picture below to watch as we set our goals and color our Daruma doll’s eye.

Getting More

Getting More

Having It All: Achieving Your Life's Goals and Dreams

Having It All: Achieving Your Life's Goals and Dreams

2010 Honolulu Toys For Tots Motorcycle Parade Hawaii

Street Bikers United Hawaii (SBU) and the United States Marine Corp Reserves sponsored the 36th annual Toys for Tots parade through Honolulu, Hawaii on December 5, 2010. The ride draws between four and five thousand bikers to Waikiki.

“These bikes are coming from all over Oahu but we get some from Maui. We have some from Kauai. We have some from the Big Island,” said Street Bikers United Oahu President Rick Davis. “They ship their bikes over in a container usually a week ahead of time. They come just to do that once a year.”

Santa on Bike 2010 Street Bikers United Toys for Tots Honolulu, Hawaii

Santa on Bike 2010 Street Bikers United Toys for Tots Honolulu, Hawaii

Santa on Bike 2010 Street Bikers United Toys for Tots Honolulu, Hawaii

Ray Pagan, Street Bikers United Hawaii State Treasure, said bikers come in from Japan and the mainland also. Ray and Rick Davis organize this annual event. Pre-event work includes gathering donations from businesses to offset expenses which are over $12,000 each year. Bikers are asked to donate $2 each to ride in the parade. Money raised pays for police, permits, insurance and other expenses.

Motorcycle Riders 2010 Street Bikers United Toys for Tots Honolulu, Hawaii

Motorcycle Riders 2010 Street Bikers United Toys for Tots Honolulu, Hawaii

There is much work involved and they organize the day because of the kids who benefit from the toys. Marines stationed at Kapiolani Community College collect over 10,000 toys at the end of the parade route, it’s no surprise that the most common toys given are the fastest RC trucks and cars. Yesterday, Christmas morning was brighter for 10,000 island children because of the generosity of SBU, riders and sponsors. We checked out the bikes and talked to the riders at Magic Island before the parade start. Emcee Michelle Shockley from KPOI 105.9 FM and music from Flux Capacitor entertained the crowds. Club members mingled and checked out the motorcycles decorated with holiday ornaments and loaded with toys. The Kaneohe Windward Harley Owners Group was well represented. Hawaii depends on tourism and this event contributes. Every year we watch tourists lining the parade route and cheering on the bikers. Off island riders stay at Hawaiian hotels, eat in restaurants and patronize bars. Some Waikiki residents are calling for an end to the parade due to noisy bikes.

“I would like to apologize, especially to the people in Waikiki that live there. We are going to try to hold the noise down, if possible.” Rick Davis continued, “If you can kokua us a little bit, we are only about an hour and half through Waikiki and it is a good cause for the kids. If you can try to have a little tolerance, we are trying to get the group to hold the noise down when we go though there. Thank you very much.”

SBU reached out to each club in advance asking for their cooperation. Before the parade start, Rick reminded riders to be respectful of Waikiki residents and not rev their engine on Kalakaua Avenue. Riders came out decked in holiday colors and we even saw a few Santa and Mrs. Clauses in the parade. Bikes of all shapes, sizes and styles were represented from Rick Davis’ orange trike to a pink Vespa Barbie and everything in between.

Rick Davis President Street Bikers United Oahu brings toys

Rick Davis President Street Bikers United Oahu brings toys

See video from the 2009 Honolulu Toys for Tots motorcycle parade. Click on the image below to see the “Where Are  You Today?” video of the 36th annual 2010 Honolulu Tots for Tots parade along Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii.

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Christmas Cactus Tree Trimming Party Honolulu Hawaii

We recently met a group of surfers in Honolulu, Hawaii just outside of Waikiki. Walking along Diamond Head Road and the Pacific Ocean, we headed from Waikiki Beach toward Fort Ruger and Kapiolani Community College.

Doug at Christmas Cactus Tree Trimming Party in Honolulu Hawaii

Doug at Christmas Cactus Tree Trimming Party in Honolulu Hawaii

This group looked like they were having so much fun, we stopped to talk with them. After a morning of surfing, they met for a potluck at the beachfront park. They had quite a spread including homemade pumpkin bread. This group surfs together in this spot and gathers for informal parties regularly. Any excuse for a potluck is welcome. Recently celebrated were Christmas, Thanksgiving and their patriarch Gilbert’s birthday.

We watched this garden over the past six years and it is a highlight of our early morning walks. It is a favorite place to stop, admire the view, talk to the gardening crew and others gathered at this local hangout.

This is their fourth annual tree trimming party. There are not many evergreens growing along the tropical Pacific coastline and the local preference against tree removal has forced the community to improvise using a cactus tree.

Jan said, “We end up feeding everyone who comes along.”

The group set the food selections on the low wall. Next, they assembled several boxes housing an eclectic collection of ornaments amassed through the past four years. One of the bravest souls, Doug, teetered on the tall step ladder as they decorated the 20 foot cactus tree and shared memories sparked by the decorations.  Kevin Simon is holding the ladder steady.

When I asked where all the ornaments come from, Jan said, “They come and go. That’s how it is.”

As we looked at a cartoon character ornament, another tree trimmer Loke Simon said, “Some have stories. Some just appear. Some just disappear.”

Thanks to Jan, here are some of the cast of the video and behind the scenes details.

Gilbert is the patriarch of the garden, the older Asian man. Without him, the garden would be non-existent, as he has nurtured it from dirt for the past 10+ years with plantings from his own residence. We are just his “helpers.” Soyu Kawamoto is the man who said his favorite ornament was the burlap “rat.”  He is an awesome surfer! Steve Casar was the elf that put up the “McCafe'” ornament. Other people that I could see in the background are Meiko, Fe, Ihan and her daughter Jade, and Aussie Pete (we have approximately 6 “Petes:” Aussie Pete, Painter Pete, Dr. Pete, El Camino Pete and a just-plain Peter). There’s also Buddha Pete, a religion professor at the University of Hawaii.  A somewhat somber person when I first met him, I now call him “Sunshine” when greeting him out in the water…he likes that, it makes him smile.

If you are near Diamond Head Road and you spot one of these beachfront potlucks, pull over, park your car and share your malasadas and a few laughs with the crew.

Mele Kalikimaka from the crew of Where Are You Today?

Sounds of Aloha from Around the World

On those cold Midwestern nights, we get the hankering for the warm Spirit of Aloha. There is something comforting about the sounds of Hawaiian music filling the house. We listen to Hawaiian 105 KINE streaming on the internet from our home in the summer or winter.

Hanauma Bay on Oahu Hawaii

Hanauma Bay on Oahu Hawaii

When you are ready to get back to the islands, listen to Hawaiian 105.

Final Hawaii Reunion for Pearl Harbor Survivors William Temple

On December 7, 1941 William “Bill” Temple was a 20 year old in the U.S. Air Force working in Pearl Harbor when he was surprised by the Japanese attacks. This week he returns to Hawaii for the first time since he left in 1945. Bill is here for the final Hawaii reunion of members of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association.

Membership in the organization, chartered by congress, is open to those who were on active duty in Pearl Harbor during the World War II attack. His youngest daughter Joan joined him on this visit. Bill decided to make the trip this year as it was important to him to attend this last reunion of the Pearl Harbor Survivors in Hawaii.

Pearl Harbor Survivor William Bill Temple at Wheeler Field Honolulu, Hawaii

Pearl Harbor Survivor William Bill Temple at Wheeler Field Honolulu, Hawaii/ Photo credit Joan

One of the sights he looks forward to visiting on the trip is his old barracks at Wheeler Air Force Base. He was also stationed at Kualoa. Bill says, back in those days, he would walk out to Chinaman’s Hat.

Bill’s mind is sharp as ever and he keeps up with news and politics.

“The idiots in Washington better get God back into the country or they can kiss it goodbye. Republicans or Democrats – if they don’t have God in what they do, they are wasting their time.” he said.

Bill lived in Virginia Beach his whole life. He was not impressed with his first visit to Waikiki Beach.

“When I got there, the first thing I said was “I left Virginia Beach for this?””

I think he warmed up the the island of Oahu during his stay. When Bill was stationed in Hawaii, he took up surfing and body boarding and was pretty good at it. Not surprising as his teacher was Olympic medalist Duke Kahanamoku.

After his tour In the service, Bill returned to Virgina Beach, married and raised a family. His diverse career included gas station owner, carpenter, electrical engineer and hospital employee. At 91 years young, he is state chairman of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association and the group’s chaplin.

A deeply religious man, Bill credits his long life and good health to God. At 91 years young, he lives alone, still drives, has 20/20 vision and is in generally good health. Besides his work with the Virginia state Pearl Harbor Survivor Association, Bill is active with his church and local army base.

Bill and Joan have nearly a week of organized activities planned for the attending Pearl Harbor Survivors including a boat ride around Pearl Harbor. This will be an emotional time for these veterans. The Pearl Harbor Survivors are getting a hero’s welcome. Joan showed me their schedule for the visit and there is not much free time. Tomorrow they look forward to renting a car and doing some sight-seeing. Bill looks forward to seeing the Pali again. Hawaii has changed in the 60+ years since Bill last saw her. I am interested to know what he thinks of things today.

Joan says her father keeps her on her toes.

“He calls my voice mail every morning to see if I have updated it to the correct date. Sometimes he catches me,” she smiled.

Bill’s only complaint is when he has nothing to keep him busy. He is active on the computer and emails often. He works with local Indians and learned their native crafts. Bill fashions jewelry, spears and other objects. The spear pendant he is was wearing is one of his works.

Bill keeps such and active schedule, it would be hard for someone half his age to keep up. Approaching his 92 birthday, Bill’s daughter says,

“He will live to be 100 years old. You just watch!”

This is a challenge I look forward to. Welcome back, Bill.

I am very grateful to have met several Pearl Harbor survivors on my travels to Hawaii. Many of these soldiers toured the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center last year for the final Pearl Harbor Survivors reunion. As they reach their 90’s it is harder for them to travel, especially long distances. Here are the stories of four other Pearl Harbor survivors.

Jake Shimabukuro In Concert at Honolulu Marathon Expo

We met Hawaii born ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro in Honolulu, Hawaii at the Honolulu Marathon Expo in the Hawaii Convention Center. This is was the first of Jake’s three appearances at Honolulu marathon events.

Tonight Jake will play a show at the Waikiki Shell. Last year we heard Jake Shimabukuro play with Jimmy Buffett at the same venue. After the race, Jake will play at the Kapiolani Park bandstand.

Jake began playing the four stringed ukulele as a young child and growing up in the islands influenced his music.

“When I think of the ukulele, I guess to me it has always been the instrument of peace, you know, because when I think of the ukulele, I think of beaches, I think of nature. ” Jake says. “You know growing up here in Hawaii, we are so spoiled with nice beaches, and the aloha spirit. That all rings through the instrument. Playing the ukulele, I tell people all the time that if everyone played the ukulele, the world would be a better place. I really believe that. It has really shaped my life and the instrument has really become, I guess a way of life for me. I am very honored to strum that four stringed instrument every day.”

Jake Shimabukuro


Jake’s new album “Jake’s website.

Click in the picture below to see my interview with Jake Shimabukuro and listen to Jake play “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”

Pearl Harbor Survivor Stan Reynolds at Last Reunion

We met Pearl Harbor Survivors Association member Stan Reynolds at Duke’s Lagoon in Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii. He returned to Hawaii with his daughter for the final Hawaii reunion of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association (PHSA). I asked Stan about the plans to disband the PHSA group.

“We have to. We don’t want to but we have to. There are only 3,000 of us left and we are dropping dead. Two or three a day. It just can’t go on,” he said.

Pearl Harbor survivor Stan Reynolds first came to Hawaii in 1938. He worked in a mine forest, which he described as area infested with land mines. He spoke about his role in a calm manner, though this sounds to me like dangerous work.

For 10 years, Stan was a tug boat pilot for the Navy. He was in Pearl Harbor on that fateful morning of December 7, 1941 when bombs showered Pearl Harbor.

We met with Stan just after he returned from a preview visit to the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, which officially opened December 7, 2010.

“One thing really bothered me though. I donated a small hand-made mini shell to the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center but I could not find it on display. Several other guys said the same thing.” Stan continued, “Some guys donate their entire collection to the center when they die.”

Stan said additional museums are scheduled to open later in the week and the item he donated may be on display in one of these areas.

Pearl Harbor Survivors Association Member Stan Reynolds visits Hawaii

Pearl Harbor Survivors Association Member Stan Reynolds visits Hawaii

Stan retired after 41 years in the merchant service. He said it was a “good life.”

To Stan, our veterans and those currently serving our country, thank you for your service.

I am very grateful to have met several Pearl Harbor survivors on my travels to Hawaii. Many of these soldiers toured the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center last year for the final Pearl Harbor Survivors reunion. As they reach their 90’s it is harder for them to travel, especially long distances. Here are the stories of four other Pearl Harbor survivors.

Pearl Harbor Survivor Robert Ruffato Returns to Hawaii

Reverend Robert Ruffato, survivor of the Pearl Harbor attack, returned to Hawaii for the final Hawaii reunion of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association. The event coincides with the opening of the new Pearl Harbor Visitors Center. As an 18 year old Navy seaman, he was on the USS Utah when the Japanese began bombing Pearl Harbor.

Robert Ruffato is joined by his daughter Bobbie Jean for his third Pearl Harbor Survivors reunion in Hawaii. We talked with them at Duke’s Lagoon in Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii.

The audio on this video is poor due to high winds so we transcribed the conversation below. We recommend you read the transcription below before you watch the video.

Robert Ruffato Pearl Harbor Survivor

Reverend Robert Ruffato Member of Pearl Harbor Survivors Association with his daughter in Waikiki, Honolulu, Hawaii for the last Pearl Harbor Reunion

Robert Ruffato: “Now we train to go in and do at least three laps and also jump off of a platform with our life jackets on. But we had none of that (swimming) training. I just happened to be from California so I knew how to swim.”

Bobbie Jean: “He helped a buddy of his that could not swim go down into the water every time the Japanese were shooting down at them. He would say, “Hold your breath.” And he would pull him down with him.”

Robert: “See, after they dropped their bombs, they went around machine gunning everybody in the water and still aboard the ships until they ran out of ammunition. Then they went back to their ship. So we lost three eighteen year old kids who could not swim fifty yards that got killed.”

April M. Williams: “It was horrible to start with, but if you could have swum, you could have gotten yourself out of the water.”

Robert: “But we saved quite a few of them because after we finally swam over to a motor launch that was tied up at one of the little docks near where the ship was tied up to. We were going to get in this motor launch and pick up these survivors but I took the canvas off the motor and it was in the shed being repaired. All we could do was throw out about 12-14 life jackets to the kids in the water.”

“You want to talk about panic. You know what the old style life jackets are? Navy life jackets? They are real heavy. You couldn’t tear them apart but they tore them apart (fighting over them). Just panic, you know. It was just terrible.”

April: “What is the most memorable thing so far and about being back here?”

Robert: “Visiting the Utah mostly. We are doing that tonight. This evening. They have a sunset ceremony over there. Well it is just being back, it is such a beautiful place and everything. Mostly being with all my Pearl Harbor surviving friends you know. We were all here that day. Different ships, different places.”

“The part that really bothered me, of course, I’m an 18 year old kid and I had never seen a dead person before in my life. Also, I am surrounded by them you know. So we went toward this building which is not too far from the Utah. I was going to change into some khakis as we were covered in oil and sand. We were just wearing shorts and t-shirts”

“The chief said, “All you sailors that are not wounded, come out here, we are going to give you a thirty-aught-six and you are going to go out and shoot these airplanes as they go by.””

“Shoom! There is an airplane going by, I am standing there shooting at this airplane with a thirty-aught-six. Finally, the chief said, “I need a volunteer to take a pickup truck and go down to the other end of Ford Island where the dispensary is.”

It made a lot more sense to me than shooting at these airplanes. Even at 18 years that made more sense. But that almost cost me my life ‘cause coming across the airfield on the road that went down to the dispensary, these two airplanes came in. See, now some of these Japanese airplanes they had stationary (landing) gear. They don’t fold up. I saw the landing gear down and I figured they were one of our airplanes coming in. Then I looked at them and wondered why they were turning their lights on. But they were not turning their lights on; they were firing their machine guns. “

“All of a sudden, my truck started vibrating. I looked in the back window and the fire extinguisher was doing a dance while the bullets were hitting it. By the time I got to the end of the runway, the whole rear end of the truck was blown away. Not only that, in that truck the gas tank is right under your seat. So if they had hit that gas tank, goodbye!”

“The thing that really bothered me, when I went to pick up the medical supplies, the fellow says, “You are going to have to wait a minute, because we are packing up as many as we can as fast as we can. Go in the dispensary, maybe you can help the nurses out.””

“So I did and she says, “Here is a pack of cigarettes, go round and give cigarettes to the wounded.””

“I went to this one bed and this young guy about 18 year old kid with a sheet over him. Have you seen this Shroud of Turin, which is supposed to be the outline of Jesus? Well his body was outlined by the blood oozing out of his body. He was trying to tell me something. Evidently, he had been in a flash fire. All the hair was burned off of his head. The eyeballs, whites of his eyes, were actually red. He was trying to tell me something. So I leaned down to him, he said two words, “Why?” and “How?””

“Then he died. That was a bad part.”

“Then the second day, they put me and my friend on a burial party. It wasn’t really a burial party, it was a body recovery party. See all the bodies blown off the ships and everything. ‘Cause they have been in the water, first they sink. Then they come up 8 or 10 hours later. And my job was to get down and get as many (bodies) as I could get. They gave me they these little red things that looked like tongue depressors with a wire on them. They put a number on a box and a number of this wire and I was supposed to tie it on the toe.“

“The part that really bothered me, they did not have any coffins. Just big boxes, just to put them in. This one box had written in red paint. Why they wrote it in red paint, I don’t know. Maybe it was the only paint they had.”BODY PARTS ONLY”. If you got an arm or leg or something like that, you put it in that box. “

“That went on for about 4 hours. You grew up in a hurry that day. You were no longer a kid after that. Like they say, uh, boys became men. And men became a little older.”

April: “You were 18 then? How long did you serve?”

Robert: “Served 6 years in the Navy. If your ship was sunk or damaged where it couldn’t be repaired, you just went on other ships. We were going on the destroyer Jarvis, then the Warrant Officer of the Utah asked us where we were going. So we’re going to board the Jarvis. He said “No. Walk down to these docks down here and you will see a bunch of cruisers, and you pick out the ones with the most guns.” He said, “That’s what you do.””

“Of course the Utah did not have any guns. It was an anti aircraft training and target ship. We go out with the fleet and drop these 500-pound bombs. Water bombs and sand bombs and the ship had all these guns. Sixteen or eighteen inch guns. Eight five inch guns. All kinds of anti aircraft guns. Boy, that was for us. Why, anyone could just walk up and ask permission to come aboard. Tell the OD who we were and he says, “Come on.””

“And that was it. I spent three years on her. Like everybody else on the ship, on the ships. A lot of cruiser ships in Pearl Harbor that did not get damaged later where sunk in the battle of Guadalcanal. That was all we had to fight with, destroyers and cruisers. All the battleships were sunk. The Japanese had battleships, so we were actually fighting battleships with just cruisers. It cost a lot of ships around Guadalcanal.”

“Guadalcanal. We were building an airbase, airfield. Well, we would like to have it but we did not want them to have it. Because all the convoys going to Australia where within 100 miles of that airbase. Cause if they got that airbase built they could put their land-based bombers on it and sink every one of our convoys going to Australia, no problem. So, that’s it basically. So that’s my story.”

I am very grateful to have met several Pearl Harbor survivors on my travels to Hawaii. Many of these soldiers toured the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center last year for the final Pearl Harbor Survivors reunion. As they reach their 90’s it is harder for them to travel, especially long distances. Here are the stories of other Pearl Harbor survivors.

Aloha Pearl Harbor Survivor Dave Davenport

I met Ernest “Dave” Davenport, retired with 21 years in the Navy, on a flight to Honolulu, Hawaii. Dave is a survivor of the World War 2 attack on Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941. Although it has been 69 years since that fateful morning, the memory of the Pearl Harbor bombing is still sharp. The first attack surprised everyone. Dave and his fellow seamen quickly ran behind a barrier and started shooting. Dave said they were able to take out one of the planes.

“It is important to remember Pearl Harbor and to always be alert. We were not alert on December 7, 1941. We were not alert on 9/11.” Dave told me. As a reminder, he gave me a “Remember Pearl Harbor” lapel pin as part of his personal mission to keep America alert.

After his Navy career, Dave returned to Virginia Beach where he taught high school for 17 years. Dave and his wife of 66 years have three sons and two daughters-in-law accompanying them to the reunion to meet with other members of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association. They will be at the opening of the new Pearl Harbor Visitors Center this week.

The new Pearl Harbor Visitor Center in Honolulu, Hawaii at Ford Island is one of several collocated historically significant military sites. The brilliant white Pearl Harbor Memorial rests peacefully in Pearl Harbor above the battle ship U.S.S. Arizona lies at the bottom of Pearl Harbor with many of her crew still entombed. This is where world War ll began for the United States. Standing guard across her stern is the U.S.S. Missouri where the Japanese signed the peace treaty on the deck of the ship. The U.S.S. Oklahoma, Bowfin submarine and Pacific Aviation Museum are also located here.

This is the last Hawaiian reunion planned for the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association. Previously, the group met every 5 years at Pearl Harbor. Many survivors are unable to travel due to illness or advanced age. The number of survivors dwindles every year. Born in 1921, Dave was 20 years old on the morning of the Pearl Harbor attack. He is a spry 89 years old today with a twinkle in his eye. Many of the others on duty that morning were older.

The Pearl Harbor Survivor Association is chartered by Congress. When the members are gone, the organization will cease to exist. For Dave and other survivors, it is import for us to learn the lessons from the past and do our part to keep our future secure.

In closing, I asked Dave about his nickname. He said, “In the service, everyone is in a hurry and always rushing. If you had a long name, it got shortened. My name is Ernest but no one was going to use such a long name. So they shortened my last name Davenport to “Dave” and I have been Dave to everyone ever since.”

Learn more about the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association in my interview with Mal Middlesworth, former president of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association and Herbert Weatherwax, Pearl Harbor Survivor and volunteer at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center who tells us why he shares his story with future generations.

Aloha Dave. Welcome back to Hawaii.

I am very grateful to have met several Pearl Harbor survivors on my travels to Hawaii. Many of these soldiers toured the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center last year for the final Pearl Harbor Survivors reunion. As they reach their 90’s it is harder for them to travel, especially long distances. Here are the stories of other Pearl Harbor survivors.

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