World War II is a defining moment in our US History. As our WWII veterans pass on, that history goes from stories told in person to something that is just in the history books. World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument in Oahu, Hawaii, still has the living history: veterans come to the monument to share their stories.
I had the privilege to meet and hear the story of Delton Walling, who served on the USS Pennsylvania. His military story starts before he even enlisted. He had a bad finger from boxing and when asked how he would be able to get into the Navy, the doctor said to cut it off. And he did.
I was there a few days before the 73rd anniversary of D Day in December. Almost all of the USS Arizona survivors were coming. But all is a small number - the remaining survivors are all in their 90s. Our tour guide for the day knew the veterans who visit and return annually by name and gets emotional when she speaks of them.
My grandfather served in the military during WWII in Europe. He passed away before I was born, but as my mom and I were taking the boat over to the USS Arizona, she shared his story.
So we don't forget.
Valor in the Pacific National Monument in Pictures
|Mighty Mo - the USS Missouri|
|All sunken ships in the Harbor have a marking at the surface|
The USS Arizona also has some visible smoke stacks
|USS Arizona Memoria|
|USS Bowfin Submarine|
Have you been to Pearl Harbor?
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