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History Comes Alive At Pearl Harbor
By Jennifer Sagon-Taeza, Education Specialist at Pacific Historic Parks
On December 1, 2018, Pacific Historic Parks (PHP) hosted its' first History Day event at Pearl Harbor National Memorial, to promote the appreciation for the history of World War II through collaboration and sharing with passionate and dedicated individuals and organizations.
It was the kick-off event of the week leading up to the 77th Anniversary National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Commemoration. Visitors were issued a History Day passport used to guide them through various educational, in-depth, interactive historical experiences around the visitors' center. A moment of historical conversation and educational activities with each organization, provided the opportunity for visitors to receive a stamp on their passport. A completed passport was redeemed for a prize highlighting the history of Pearl Harbor.
Events such as History Day provides opportunities for organizations to collaborate and educate local families, and visitors from around the world about the history of Pearl Harbor. Jimmy Lee and Robert Lee, civilian eye witnesses to the Pearl Harbor attack, shared their stories through conversation and published literature. Visitors aboard the US Navy boat, for a tour around the harbor, was joined by Jimmy Lee, who shared personal accounts of the attack through the eyes of an 11-year old boy sitting on a railroad track close to his home.
Punahou School teachers and students shared the story of Sadako, a young Japanese girl who was diagnosed with Leukemia through the effects of the Hiroshima bombing. Her wish for world peace, continues through sharing and the folding of a paper crane. Paper cranes from Japan holding a message of peace written by students in Japan, was given to visitors to remember the legacy of Sadako. Pearl City High School, Assets School, and Xerox Hawaii volunteers assisted visitors with personalized luggage tags, PHP tattoos, and creating a USA flag. A representative from Honouliuli National Monument shared with our visitors the history of Honouliuli and experienced and explored the contents of an excavation pit. Visitors were introduced to one of our new virtual reality apps, providing a virtual experience on the USS Arizona Memorial.
The legacy of Pearl Harbor and historical facts were shared by National Park Chief Historian Daniel Martinez and Interpretive National Park Ranger Jason Ockrassa. Their display of a model of the Battleship Arizona, in its current state underwater, became one of the attractions for the visitors. Partnerships with Battleship Missouri, Bowfin Submarine and Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum was well represented by their staff who thoroughly prepared activities and historical conversations with visitors.
Organizations such as American Veterans and American Legion shared their mission to continually remember and honor the many sacrifices our veterans have dedicated. The International Plastic Models' Society showcased their display of detailed models of Battleship Row. Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency ensured their mission of locating and identifying the number of missing personnel is communicated and understood.
The collaborative contributions resulted in a successful event that is just the beginning to many future educational events.