This summer I took a trip to Hawaii to see one of my best friends, Ashley. When she asked me if I wanted to go to Pearl Harbor while I was there, it was a tough decision for me to make. To visit a place with such devastating history is so emotional, I didn’t know if it was something I wanted to experience. I decided that it would be silly of me not to take advantage of being right there, so we planned a day to spend at Pearl Harbor. The minute we drove in, the mood completely changed; you could feel the presence, devastation, courage and strength. We walked in through the gates and I about lost it. I wasn’t really sure how to feel- insert tears. I had tears streaming down my face almost the entire time we were there. This was Ashley’s 4th time visiting Pearl Harbor and even she was more emotional that day than her previous visits. Of course, 2 days before we went a ship backed into the dock of the USS Arizona Memorial and it was closed to visitors. We were still able to watch the short film (which yes- I continued to cry through the whole thing) and take the ferry out over the waters of where so many lost their lives that day. I feel silly admitting this, but I am because I know I am not the only one that didn’t know how shallow the water is in Pearl Harbor. As we go out on the ferry, you can see the USS Arizona under the water. When the tide is lower, parts of the ship even stick out of the water. This ship still leaks oil to this day. The drips are called “the black tears.” It is said that when the last sailor that belonged to that ship passes away, the oil will stop dripping (not every sailor was on the ship/on the base that day.) I was so moved by this whole experience that I don’t know if going on the memorial would have made it better or worse. Anyways, my photos will never be able to depict how I felt that day, how much I learned or what I took away from it. But, I wanted to share them with you on the day 74 years after we were attacked and had no knowledge that the attack was coming. Thank you Ashley for taking me to experience this historical place!