Sharing History, In Person & on the Web

Entrance to the WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument, Pearl Harbor Visitor Center

Certain events forever change the course of American history, defining our nation’s identity and future. The bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 was one such event, leading America into World War II. An internationally significant site, WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument at Pearl Harbor centers on the USS Arizona Memorial, which serves as the final resting place of over a thousand men who lost their lives protecting our rights and freedoms. Over 1 million visitors travel from all over the world each year to visit and pay their respects at the USS Arizona Memorial. Needless to say, it is an honor to work at this site as the SCA Multimedia Intern.<p>The first week’s goal was total immersion in the resource which consisted of exhibit gallery tours, introductory films, visits to the USS Arizona Memorial, Bowfin Submarine, USS Missouri, and the Pacific Aviation Museum on Ford Island. I was on learning overload, gaining knowledge not just about the December 7th attack, but about the attack’s impact on the civilian population of O’ahu, as well as the cultural importance of the Harbor prior to its use as a military base. With a more comprehensive understanding of the international importance of the site, and its ultimate message of peace, I realized just how powerful my role as multimedia intern could be this summer.

View of USS Arizona Memorial from the deck of the USS Missouri

Due to Hawaii’s isolation, many Americans are unable to travel to WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument. Yet, with such a significant historical site, and important message of peace, it is imperative that all those who wish to learn more and access the site can do so without traveling. That is where multimedia efforts are most effective. Websites and social media connect people to places too far to visit. For this reason, I feel that my position at the park has the potential to contribute and build upon the hard work taking place at the park every day.

The USS Arizona Memorial

The more people know and understand about a place, the more they care about it. This could not be more apparent than at Pearl Harbor. I immediately saw how deeply the NPS staff care, and how carefully they steward this park, working to ensure that visitors gain as much as possible from their visit, while respecting the site. During my internship I hope to extend this feeling to audiences beyond the park, through blogs like this one, website development, and social media such as twitter. Though my SCA internship will only last a short time, I know that my experiences at this beautiful and historic place will leave a lasting impression on my life, and on the audiences I hope to reach through my work with social media.

View of the U.S. Flag from within the USS Arizona Memorial