Hawaii


Friday November 1, 2019


GRAND ADVENTURE
By: ANNA MARIE MATEESCU

O`AHU known as “The Gathering Place”, is the third-largest of the Hawaiian Islands. It is home to roughly one million people, about two-thirds of the population of the state. The capital, Honolulu, is on O`ahu’s southeast coast. Including small associated islands such as Ford Island and the islands in Kāne`ohe Bay and off the eastern (windward) coast, its area is 596.7 square miles (1,545.4 km2), making it the 20thlargest island in the United States.

The island has been inhabited since at least the 3rd century A.D.[6] The 304-year-old Kingdom of O`ahu was once ruled by the most ancient Ali`i in all of the Hawaiian Islands. The first great king of O`ahu was Ma`ilikūkahi, the lawmaker, who was followed by many generations of monarchs. Kuali`i was the first of the warlike kings and so were his sons. In 1773, the throne fell upon Kahahana, the son of Elani of Ewa. In 1783, Kahekili II, King of Maui, conquered O`ahu and deposed the reigning family and then made his son, Kalanikūpule, king of O`ahu. Kamehameha the Great would conquer, in the mountains, Kalanikūpule’s force in the Battle of Nu`uanu. Kamehameha founded the Kingdom of Hawai`i with the conquest of O`ahu in 1795. Hawai`i would not be unified until the islands of Kaua`i and Ni`ihau surrendered under King Kaumuali`i in 1810. Kamehameha III moved his capital from Lāhainā, Maui to Honolulu, O`ahu in 1845. `Iolani Palace, built later by other members of the royal family, is still standing, and is the only royal palace on American soil.

Semicircular Hanauma Bay, located on Oahu’s windward coast, it is a spectacular tropical paradise that sports a half-mile of perfect white-sand beach backed by exotic palm trees. Once a favorite fishing spot for Hawaiian royalty, this extinct volcanic crater is frequented by spotted eagle rays, turtles and more than 450 species of tropical fish including the Hawaii state fish, the Humuhumunukunukuapua’a and is now a federallyprotected wildlife preserve.

HANAUMA NAMED BEST U.S. BEACH

Hanauma Bay was named the best beach in the United States in the 14th annual rankings of American beaches from Stephen Leatherman, the Florida environmental scientist known as “Dr. Beach”.

In addition to the spectacular snorkeling and smooth, white coral sand at the “phenomenal” beach, set in a volcanic cone, Dr. Beach praised Hanauma Bay’s environmental management. Smoking is now banned, access is monitored to prevent overcrowding–a problem given its proximity to Waikiki. And, visitors have to watch a 9-minute-long educational video at the Hanauma Bay Marine Education Center before entering the beach.

Approximately 650 U.S. beaches and shore areas are ranked each year, with previous winners excluded from the survey. Beaches are rated on 50 criteria that includes water temperature, water and sand quality, beach management, litter control and available facilities.

Hanauma Bay was designated a Marine Life Conservation District in 1967 and a City and County Park in 1978. Hanauma Bay is also the romantic location of Elvis Presley’s beach boy days in the film Blue Hawaii. John Wayne and Lee Marvin’s film Donovan’s Reef was also filmed at Hanauma Bay. Hanauma Bay is a great place to snorkel or scuba dive in Hawaii.

PEARL HARBOR Five historic sites honoring the events occurring at this National Historic Landmark in Central Oahu, about 30 minutes from Waikiki known the world over as a “date which will live in infamy,” the devastating events of December 7, 1941 changed the course of history. It was here that a surprise air attack by the Japanese plunged the United States into World War II, claiming thousands of lives.

At Pearl Harbor, that tragic history is never too far in the past. Hear first-hand stories from survivors describing the chaotic scene on Battleship Row. Walk through an airplane hangar that still bears the scars from that fateful morning. And peer into the shallow harbor where the sunken hull of the USS Arizona rests, still leaking oil that pools on the water’s surface like black tears, as they’ve been described. Visiting Pearl Harbor is an experience that will be etched into your soul forever and will offer you a new perspective on World War II.

December 7, 2016 marked 75 years since that fateful day. A large-scale 11-day commemoration event to celebrate the survivors of the attack and honor those who lost their lives commenced in Oahu. The intent of this was to find a way to bridge the gap of generations and set the groundwork for what is ahead of us for the future. The theme of this event that carries on today was “Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future.” “As we look to the future, we each have an opportunity and a personal responsibility to invest in and commit to inspiring the leaders of tomorrow, using history to help empower choices that negate fateful outcomes,” said Admiral Thomas Fargo in a statement.

The Hawaiian name for Pearl Harbor was Puuloa (Iong hill). Later named Pearl Harbor for the pearl oysters that were once harvested from the waters, the natural harbor is the largest in Hawaii.Ulu (breadfruit) was said to be brought here from Samoa. Attractions at Pearl Harbor Immerse yourself for a part or more of the day in five historic sites that comprise Pearl Harbor today: the WWII Valor in the Pacific (USS Arizona Memorial – see note below on temporary closure), Battleship Missouri Memorial, USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, USS Oklahoma Memorial and the Pacific Aviation Museum.

Purchase the PASSPORT TO PEARL HARBOR for an all-inclusive ticket to all the sites.

WWII Valor in the Pacific (USS Arizona Memorial) The site of the most devastating loss of life, the USS Arizona was hit by a 1,760-pound armor-piercing bomb at 8:06 a.m. on December 7, 1941. The catastrophic explosion that resulted sank this massive battleship in nine minutes, killing 1,177 crewmen. Today, the USS Arizona Memorial (part of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument) is a place of somber beauty and quiet reflection. Begin at the Visitor Center, where you can watch a film about the attack and view plaques honoring lives lost on that fateful day. You’ll then take a boat shuttle to the floating memorial built over top the sunken hull of the Arizona, the final resting place for many of the ship’s crew. In the shrine room, a marble wall exhibits the names of the men who lost their lives. Poignant and powerful, this is a place where visitors come face to face with the devastating effects of war.

Battleship Missouri Memorial General Macarthur accepted the unconditional Japanese surrender that ended World War II on September 2, 1945, on the Surrender Deck of the Battleship Missouri. Now located at Pearl Harbor’s Battleship Row, the massive “Mighty Mo” is a living museum, with exhibits spanning three wars and five decades of service.

Explore the decks of this 60,000-ton battleship, three football fields long and 20 stories tall. Stand on the Surrender Deck and view the documents that ended the war. Take a tour and get special access to restricted areas. Don’t miss the ship’s most stunning feature: towering 16-inch guns that could fire a 2,700-pound shell 23 miles. WWII Valor in the Pacific (USS Arizona Memorial) The site of the most devastating loss of life, the USS Arizona was hit by a 1,760-pound armor-piercing bomb at 8:06 a.m. on December 7, 1941. The catastrophic explosion that resulted sank this massive battleship in nine minutes, killing 1,177 crewmen.

Today, the USS Arizona Memorial (part of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument) is a place of somber beauty and quiet reflection. Begin at the Visitor Center, where you can watch a film about the attack and view plaques honoring lives lost on that fateful day. You’ll then take a boat shuttle to the floating memorial built over the top of the sunken hull of the Arizona, the final resting place for many of the ship’s crew. In the shrine room, a marble wall exhibits the names of the men who lost their lives. Poignant and powerful, this is a place where visitors come face to face with the devastating effects of war.

Visiting the USS Arizona Memorial is free, but visitors must reserve a time slot for the boat tour in advance. You can do this online (a $1.50 fee will be charged) up to two months in advance. Alternately, 1,300 tickets are released each morning at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center; the memorial sees an average of 4,000 visitors per day, so show up early (doors open at 7 a.m.) to reserve your same-day time slot in person, fee free. For $7.50, you can add a self-guided, narrated tour for a more immersive experience.

Battleship Missouri Memorial: General Macarthur accepted the unconditional Japanese surrender that ended World War II on September 2, 1945, on the Surrender Deck of the Battleship Missouri. Now located at Pearl Harbor’s Battleship Row, the massive “Mighty Mo” is a living museum, with exhibits spanning three wars and five decades of service.

Explore the decks of this 60,000- ton battleship, three football fields long and 20 stories tall. Stand on the Surrender Deck and view the documents that ended the war. Take a tour and get special access to restricted areas. Don’t miss the ship’s most stunning feature: towering 16-inch guns that could fire a 2,700-pound shell 23 miles. WWII PEARL HARBOR (Black & White photo) Three U.S. battleships were hit from the air during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Japan’s bombing of U.S. military bases at Pearl Harbor brings the U.S. into World War II. From left are: USS West Virginia, severely damaged; USS Tennessee, damaged; and USS Arizona, sunk. (AP Photo) Byodo-In Temple, Oahu, Hawaii Located at the foot of the 2,000 foot Ko`olau Mountains in the Valley of the Temples in O`ahu’s Kaneohe Region sits the beautiful Byodo-In Temple.

While always a popular stop for visitors who seek locations off the beaten track, the Byodo-In Temple has become more popular since it was used as a filming location in the first season of the ABC Emmy Award-winning drama series” Lost”, where it served as the home of the Korean woman Sun’s powerful father. The Byodo-In Temple was built in the 1960’s to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the first Japanese immigrant workers in Hawaii who came to work in the sugar plantation fields. It is a replica of the 950-year-old Byodoin Temple located in Uji, Japan on the southern outskirts of Kyoto.

As you cross the wooden bridge to enter the temple grounds you will surely get the feeling that you are traveling to a place far different than anywhere else in Hawaii. This bridge was used for the proposal scene with Sun and Jin in the first season of “Lost” in the episode ‘House of the Rising Sun’.

A short walk from the bridge will take you to a five-foot, three-ton brass Peace Bell located on your left. This large bell can be heard throughout Kahalu`u when rung. Ringing the bell will purify the mind from evil spirits and temptation. It is said that ringing this bell will bring you happiness, blessings, and a long life. It is customarily rung before entering the temple.



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