History at Hawaii Volcanoes

History at Hawaii Valcanoes

On December 7, 1941, the United States was attacked in Hawaii by a Japanese air raid. In the years that followed, the shores of Hawaii were used as military training grounds for a possible invasion of Japan by American troops.

When hiking the rocky lava fields of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the island of Hawai’i, remnants of those training drills can be found along the coast. Shells and mortar don’t quite litter the area, but they are easily spotted. The white shell casings stand out in deep contrast to the seemingly never ending field of black lava rock. All artifacts in the National Park are protected, which means removing any of the artillery debris is a federal crime.

While hiking along the shore it was humbling to think, that only two generations earlier, young men were storming the beaches in preparation of a D-Day type invasion of Japan. The artillery remnants at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park serve as a lasting reminder of what the Greatest Generation did to protect the United States and the rest of the world.

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