At the age of 5, the significance of Pearl Harbor was lost on me, but it had meaning in that my mother kept “stars” in her window signifying that she had two sons in the marines. When they came home on leave, we picked them up at the train station in Niles, MI, and we were so proud of them in their full dress uniforms. In 1990, I stood on the deck of the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii, the resting place of those who died on December 7, 1941, killed by Japanese Imperial Forces, the beginning of US involvement in WWII.
In my book, RVing North America, Silver, Single, and Solo, I wrote, “The Pearl Harbor Museum was made more interesting by a National Park Service Volunteer who explained pictures from a photo album of the invasion. His sleeve patch spoke volumes, ‘Survivor of Pearl Harbor.’ He had been on the USS West Virginia.
“Reading the names of those entombed below us in the sunken US Arizona, was sobering. As if to jolt the depth of our thinking, ‘This happened a long time ago,’ to ‘but it was real,’ a burp of oil appeared on the surface and floated away.
“The solemnity and beauty of the Memorial was carried through to Pu’owaina Crater (Punchbowl), the National Cemetery of the Pacific, where the names of military killed during and since WWII, are carved in marble.” God Bless until next week.
Minshall’s RVing Alaska and Canada (A “How to” and “Why not” book) is available thru Amazon.
At 45, Widow Minshall began 20 years of solo full-time RVing throughout Alaska, Mexico, and Canada. Sharlene canoed the Yukon, mushed sled dogs, worked a dude ranch, visited Hudson Bay polar bears, and lived six months on a Mexican beach. She lectured at Life on Wheels, published six RV-related books and wrote a novel, “Winter in the Wilderness.”