April 29, 2017
I became a member of the Arizona Memorial Museum Association, predecessor of Pacific Historic Parks, on Sept. 3, 1998. Over the years I have enjoyed reading Remembrance from the earliest copy I have on file, an eight page edition (Spring/Summer 2001), to the present, a wonderful, informative publication.
Although my interest in World War II has been focused for many years on the Bataan Death March in the Philippines where I maintain a home, due to the Remembrance articles, I have always had the USS Arizona Memorial in my mind.
My last involvement was participation in the 65th anniversary events and seminars in 2006. I will never forget that event.
Recently, I was in touch with Pacific Historic Parks Assistant Development Officer Minette Lew-McCabe about Remembrance. Minette mentioned the opportunity to volunteer at the Memorial as I vacation in Hawaii. She instructed me to see the Donation & Volunteer Coordinator Amy Ogasawara at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. Unannounced, I dropped in on Amy during my last trip. What a wonderful welcome I got from her. She scheduled me to return to start volunteering at the donation desk. I even went back to the hotel that day with the red volunteer T-shirt. That’s how to make a potential volunteer feel part of the organization. I volunteer about 60 hours per week here in Chicago area so I know and have observed how potential volunteers are welcomed, good and bad.
I got to volunteer at the donation desk at the visitor center over several days and met very dedicated volunteers. This was my first year volunteering at the visitor center so I took this opportunity to review the information binder at the donation desk to become more knowledgeable about the history of the Arizona Memorial. I also familiarized myself with the visitor center to be able to answer the numerous visitor questions that are asked daily.
After being one of many experts on the Bataan Death March for many years, I welcome the challenge of learning more about the USS Arizona Memorial, the attack on Pearl Harbor and what Pacific Historic Parks does to keep the history alive. I look forward to returning to Hawaii next January and being a volunteer at the donation desk.
Amy and Minette, thanks for the opportunity.