We decided to start our 4th of July celebration with a hike to Makapu'u Point Lighthouse. It is located high on a volcanic cliff at the most southeastern point of Oah'u, and overlooks a breathtaking panorama of the coast. Shipping companies started asking for a lighthouse at this spot as early as 1888. In 1906 the US House of Representatives passed a bill authorizing funding for the lighthouse. The lighthouse was activated in 1909. Since it's beginnings it has had the largest lens in any US lighthouse. It was originally a 3 mantle oil vapor lamp. In 1925 there was a tragic accident where the light blew up, killing one man and badly burning another. The light house was then equipped with a radio beacon - the first in Hawaii. It was automated in 1974. Today the lighthouse is controlled by the US Coast Guard and the land around it is owned by the state. It is a moderate 2 mile, round trip hike on a paved, but sometimes steep hill. The lookouts are favorite whale watching sites from November to April.
View of Koko Crater. Hawaii was created thousands of years ago by eruptions of various volcanos. Photo taken about 1/3 up the trail. Standing at this point we could see ocean to our left and ocean to our right.
This part of the island is pretty desert-like. Notice the unusual cacti growing along the cliff.
No one is allowed to go down by the lighthouse.
Breath taking views!
After arriving home we had lunch and then treated ourselves to much needed naps and rest. At 5:00 pm we met Elder and Sister Reeder and went to the USS Missouri, or Mighty Mo as she is called, to continue celebrating the holiday. Lots of other people had the same idea. We staked out our spots to watch the fireworks and then took turns walking around the Missouri and marveling at what a magnificent piece of history she is.
People waiting on the dock to watch the fireworks. We found a place on the ship.
This plaque is placed in the deck of the USS Missouri at the exact spot that the "Instrument of Formal Surrender of Japan to the Allied Powers" was signed in 1945. The actual document is on display in glass display boxes near by.
Sister Reeder, Elder Reeder, Elder Tufts, Sister Tufts
At the end of this wonderful day I reflect on the great blessing it is to be an American citizen. I am grateful to the patriots, soldiers, pioneers, and great people of this nation that have loved her and sacrificed that we all can enjoy the beauty and freedoms of the greatest nation on earth. God Bless America!