I’ve been absent from posting for almost a week. That’s because my family and I took an extended Thanksgiving weekend.
I’m at Pearl Harbor for a military exercise. Rough duty, I know. When the Army usually sends you to places like Kuwait, and Fort Hood, you jump at the chance to go to Hawaii when the opportunity presents itself.
Cookie and the kids left for home today. The kids enjoyed themselves immensely. Most days involved hours at the pool and the beach. The activities in the sun exhausted them. Last night the two oldest fell asleep during dinner–and it was a relatively early dinner–6:30. However, Henry, the Ever-ready two-year-old, kept going and going until much later.
Anyway, they were great. They even travelled well on the long flights over here.
Let me tell you about a brilliant idea my wife had. The first morning we were here, she told the two oldest (they’re five and nine) that they would get ten dollars a day to spend on whatever they wanted–fifty dollars for the whole trip. We would buy their meals, but any snacks, trinkets, gifts, post cards, t-shirts, anything else, came out of their daily allowance. Anything they didn’t spend, they got to keep.
Neither of them spent even half of their allotment. And the best part was that we didn’t once hear them plead with us to buy something stupid. The funniest moment came when just after Cookie explained the rules, Connor said to his older sister. "Instead of buying post cards, Caroline, you can just take pictures with the digital camera." He’s both smart and cheap.
Caroline missed a couple days of school this week, so she has to do a report on the battle of Pearl Harbor for her class. She finished it yesterday. I’ll post it when I can finally get my email to work. She was very moved by the memorial to the USS Arizona. What was particularly touching were the names added to the wall long after December 7th 1941. They are the names of survivors of the battle who, when they died years later, asked to be buried at sea with their shipmates. Two of them were buried just this year.
This coming week is the 64th anniversary of the battle. I’ll be in the midst of the exercise, but if I can sneak away at all, I’d like to see the ceremonies. For those familiar with Pearl Harbor, I’m staying on Ford Island. The building where I’m staying was actually part of the movie Tora Tora Tora. (A great and authentic movie, by the way. Oh, and if you want to know what makes for an authentic war movie? The German or Japanese protaganists have to actually speak German or Japanese.)
Outside my building you can see the USS Missouri, which sits moored just behind and above the Arizona. It’s a fitting bookend to the older battleship. America’s involvement in the war began the day the Arizona was sunk, and it ended when the Japanese surrendered aboard the deck of the Missouri in Tokyo Harbor nearly four years later.
Tomorrow my boss will be promoted to Brigadier General. I’ve been to many such promotion ceremonies before, but this is one that I’m actually looking forward to. The ceremony will be held aboard the Missouri. That is truly a once in a lifetime experience. I hope to have pictures for you.
If you don’t hear much from me over the next few weeks, I hope you’ll understand. It’s not because I’m working on my tan. I’ll be too busy to do much of that. And there won’t be too much political blogging either, but it’s the Holiday season, so you’d probably like a break from that anyway.
So, until next time, Aloha!