Last night, Boy Scout Troop 97 participated in the USS Missouri Encampment Program. The USS Missouri is moored off Ford Island in Pearl Harbor. It stands guard over the USS Arizona Memorial. The program was open to Scouts, parents, and siblings. I invited Andrew (Boy Scout) and David (Cub Scout) to share their experience:
Kim: What happened when you first came on board the USS Missouri?
Andrew: We were directed to the fantail where we received our dog tags. We split into two groups to tour the ship.
David: This is my first dog tag! It has my name, "USS Missouri Encampment", and the date.
Kim: Tell us about the tour of the ship - what did you learn?
Andrew: We saw the "R2D2" gun turrets. They have giant radar domes that make it look like R2D2. The guns were huge.
David: I learned about the Surrender of Japan (September 2, 1945 in Tokyo Bay). The Japanese took a boat launch to the USS Missouri. General MacArthur had 5 black pens and one red pen. Each pen was given to someone after the signing. He gave the red pen to his wife, who kept it until her death in 2001.
Kim: What happened after the tour?
Andrew: We climbed down to the mes hall for dinner. We were served a typical dinner of meatloaf, mash potatoes, and salad. The food was prepared by on board chefs - it was better than school food.
David: I learned that dinner is called "chow". The tables had upturned sides to stop the plates from falling off (when the ship rocked). Sometimes when the ship rose with the waves, food jumped off the plate. Someone else's food might fall back onto your plate.
Kim: Where did you sleep?
Andrew: We slept in the bunk area where the sailors originally slept. It was a thin mattress on a wooden shelf with three shelves in one berth. They gave us a pillow case and sheet to make our own bunk. It was not comfortable. I first took a bottom bunk, but my friend above me kept reaching down to bother me. So I traded to a top bunk. In the middle of night, I jumped down to use the bathroom. Then I realized I wouldn't be able to get back up. So I found a bottom bunk.
David: Lights out was 2200 hours. There was a strap to keep the sailors in their bunks. I picked a middle bunk. But I could hear the scout moving above me but I could still go to sleep.
Kim: What happened this morning?
Andrew: Lights shot on at 0600 hours. Everyone jumped out of their bunks. "Someone" stole three scouts' linens in the night! We ate breakfast - eggs, bacon, potatoes, and cereal - back in the mess hall.
David: After breakfast, we raised the flag on the fantail. The tour guide read a poem Johnny Cash called Ragged Old Flag. We received certificates for completing the encampment program and took a group photo in front of Gun Turret No. 1.
Both: We are glad we did it!
Mahalo, Andrew and David, for sharing your experience with us! In honor of their visit to Mighty Mo, I am giving way a Pearl Harbor gift pack - trinkets from the National Park Service's Valor in the Pacific Memorial Park. The park is the gateway for visiting the USS Missouri (afloat battleship), USS Arizona Memorial (straddling the sunken ship), USS Oklahoma Memorial (next to the Missouri entrance), USS Utah Memorial (overlooking the sunken ship), and the USS Bowfin (afloat submarine). To enter the giveaway,
1. Leave a comment regarding the most unusual place where you have toured, dined, or slept.
2. This giveaway is open to all readers. Comments are open through Saturday, March 5, 10 in Hawaii to enter the giveaway.
3. If you are new to SOS Aloha, please make sure I know how to contact you. If your Blogger profile does not provide your email address, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. (I have several unclaimed prizes because I do know how to contact the winner).
Kim in Hawaii
"Ragged Old Flag" by Johnny Cash
I walked through a county courthouse square
On a park bench, an old man was sittin' there.
I said, "Your old court house is kinda run down,
He said, "Naw, it'll do for our little town".
I said, "Your old flag pole is leaned a little bit,
And that's a ragged old flag you got hangin' on it".
He said, "Have a seat", and I sat down,
"Is this the first time you've been to our little town"
I said, "I think it is"
He said "I don't like to brag, but we're kinda proud of
That Ragged Old Flag
"You see, we got a little hole in that flag there,
When Washington took it across the Delaware.
and It got powder burned the night Francis Scott Key sat watching it,
writing "Say Can You See"
It got a rip in New Orleans, with Packingham & Jackson
tugging at its seams.
and It almost fell at the Alamo
beside the Texas flag,
But she waved on though.
She got cut with a sword at Chancellorsville,
And she got cut again at Shiloh Hill.
There was Robert E. Lee and Beauregard and Bragg,
And the south wind blew hard on
That Ragged Old Flag
"On Flanders Field in World War I,
She got a big hole from a Bertha Gun,
She turned blood red in World War II
She hung limp, and low, a time or two,
She was in Korea, Vietnam, She went where she was sent
by her Uncle Sam.
She waved from our ships upon the briny foam
and now they've about quit wavin' back here at home
in her own good land here She's been abused,
She's been burned, dishonored, denied an' refused,
And the government for which she stands
Has been scandalized throughout out the land.
And she's getting thread bare, and she's wearin' thin,
But she's in good shape, for the shape she's in.
Cause she's been through the fire before
and i believe she can take a whole lot more.
"So we raise her up every morning
And we bring her down slow every night,
We don't let her touch the ground,
And we fold her up right.
On second thought
I *do* like to brag
Cause I'm mighty proud of
That Ragged Old Flag"