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January 21, 2004     Sentinel Tribune
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January 21, 2004
 

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SENTINEL TRIBUNE Area Focus Wednesday, January 21, 2004 Pearl Harbor -- Continued from page l The battle cry, Remember Pearl Harbor! carried the nation forward for the next three and a half years. Finally, on September 2, 1945, the greatest military leaders of WWII gathered on the deck of the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay to sign the Instrument of Surrender by the Japanese. As early as 1943, sug- gestions surfaced for a memorial to honor those who died in the attack. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who helped achieve Allied victory in Europe during the war, approved the creation of the Memorial in 1958. It was dedicated in 1962. According to its architect, Alfred Preis, the design of the Memorial, wherein the structure sags in the center but stands strong and vigor- ous at the ends, expresses initial defeat and ultimate victory and the overall effect is one of serenity. It is difficult to describe a tourist's impression of vis- iting the Arizona memorial, because the reaction is dif- ferent for each individual. For some, it is merely anoth- er battle sight from our nation s history. For others, it brings back vivid memo- ries of where they were and what they were doing when they heard news of the attack. For still others, it surfaces memories of their own WWII experiences. For the precious few left who survived that infamous attack, it evokes the strongest emotions. But the general atmosphere is one of respect and reverence. The battleship USS Missouri was launched in 1944 and had the privilege of being the site for the signing of the peace treaty. This ship saw action in WWII, the Korean Conflict, the Persian Gulf in 1987, and the Gulf War in 1991. She was decommissioned for the last time on March 31, 1992, and arrived at her final destina- tion of historic Ford Island, located in the heart of Pearl Harbor, in 1998. Today the Missouri is open to visitors who can see such things as the Kamikaze attack site, harpoon missile launchers, tomahawk deck, and surren- der deck. For those who don't mind tight spaces, the famous USS Bowfin subma- rine is open for a self-guided tour. Anyone who tours the submarine Bowfin, the bat- tleship Missouri, or the Arizona memorial leaves with a greater understand- ing of the hardships and sac- rifices made by men and women as they fought to pre- serve the freedom we so often take for granted. It is unfortunate, indeed, that every American doesn't get the privilege of visiting this important historic site. Minnesota tourists experience winter storm in paradise By Hawaiian correspon- dent Carolyn VanLoh Wednesday, January 14, was the day many of our Minnesota/South Dakota AFBF convention-goers looked forward to a circle tour of the island of Oahu. The weather forecast for the day warned of strong wind gusts, but we were hardy people from the Midwest, and we had experienced win- ter winds many times. We had no idea that the experi- ences that day would be per- manently etched in our minds. The tour group boarded two buses at 9 AM under cloudy skies. By the time buses left the Waikiki beach area for the mountains, scat- tered showers were falling, and the winds were picking up. Everyone was eagerly anticipating a tour of the Dole pineapple plantation near the center of the island. Just as our buses pulled into the plantation, the pineapple field tour, as well as the large gift shop, were shut down because of the weather. We noticed palm branches and other debris scattered on the ground. We were able to pur- chase lunch and browse in a couple little shops in an older part of the plantation. The focus of our attention, however, was the strong wind/rain storm that hit while we were there. Heavy rains were blown horizontal- ly by strong gusts of winds. Flower planters were blown over. The little gift shop had a run on rain ponchos. The storm eventually let up and allowed everyone to board the buses for the next stop on the tour. Traffic was heavy and moving slowly on the narrow two-lane highway. We pulled to the side of the road and stopped when an emer- gency vehicle was approach- ing. The bus in front of us prepared to enter the high- way again, but the rear wheels were stuck in the mud of the soft shoulder, and no amount of maneuvering freed the bus from the mud. What do hearty Midwesterners do in a situa- tion like this? They volun- teer to help, and the men on the bus did just that by get- ting out to push. They were assisted by some national guard men who happened to come by, and before long, the buses were on their way again. Tour guide, Lee Hurd, of Buresch Travel, said that she'd never had the national guard come to her rescue before. The bus driv- er said he had been driving tour buses for ten years and had never been stuck before. No one really knew the intensity of the storm until they got back to the hotel and heard news reports. If we had left the plantation area just five minutes later, our two buses would have been stuck in a traffic jam that lasted eight hours! Power lines were down, roofs ' were damaged, and trees were uprooted. I even saw a skid loader-type of vehicle noisily escorted down the highway by a motorcycle policeman. Thursday's local paper was full of pictures and accounts of the natural disaster we had experienced. On the way to the Hawaiian University agri- cultural experiment station, we stopped at a little strip mall for a break. That stop would have been routine, except for one inconvenience: the power was off. Clerks had to use hand-held calcu- lators to check out cus- tomers. The BIG challenge, however, was using the rest- rooms that had no lights. A flashlight guided each per- son to the appropriate spot. Privacy was definitely not a problem that day. The tour to the experi- ment station had to be adjusted slightly because of the storm that had passed through earlier. Clearing skies allowed for stops at scenic lookouts along the ocean so that tourists could photograph the waves pounding the shoreline. A stop at Diamond Head's crater concluded the day. One hearty member of our group even hiked, or should I say, jogged, to the crater's rim in record time during our brief stop. The day had been full of surprises and inconvenienc- es, but everyone had a spirit of adventure and made the The USS Missouri awaits visitors as she rests in Pearl Harbor. Carolyn and Dave Van Loh stood in front of the vessel. Council Hears From Page 1 An O Maintenance with PeepleService, ing the price of the from $5,920 to month for water was approved. Three trees in the street North Border taken down bY Campbell at as mate cost of $475. Residents whO clean up their discussed. will be police dep tenance de ters will be sent to, They will be junk, tree limbs, vehicles, unlicensed inside a building not have A mechanical from Mankato tacted to write cations for nace and air the Merna the monthly The council ing her attend a how to investigate abuse cases. A proposal & Nester to 2003 financial was reviewed, exceed $6,100. The tion of the meeting, ing committees, tabled in the Mayor O'Donnell be done at the meeting instead. This palm tree was typical Of those seen from the bus window as the tour group circled the island of Oahu the day of the big storm. best of adverse circum- stances. It was a day to remember, even though this winter storm was upstaged in the media on the main- land by the winter storm in the Northeastern United States. 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