Volunteer to preserve history on a trip to Hawaii

The USS Missouri at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, is preserved thanks to volunteers who have unique opportunities to help out.
Published: May. 29, 2023 at 9:38 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Pearl Harbor is the final resting place for many ships which have played roles in American history. It’s home to ships known as the “bookends” of World War II. They include the USS Arizona and others, sunk in the attack before the United States joined the war, and also the battleship that hosted the Japanese surrender in 1945.

The USS Missouri, a Navy battleship built in the 1940s, is now a floating museum docked at Pearl Harbor. The “Mighty Mo” played roles in World War II, the Korean War, and the Gulf War before it was decommissioned.

The aging battleship is constantly undergoing preservation work. Professionals handle deck repairs, welding, and electrical work, but volunteers play an important role, too.

The 2,500 sailors took care of the upkeep while the ship was in service. Today, the USS Missouri has a dedicated maintenance staff of 25. They rely on a steady stream of volunteers to clean, sweep, sand, and paint different parts of the ship. You can be as young as 16 and come on your own, or as young as 13 if you’re accompanied by an adult.

The volunteer coordinator, Keven Williamson, says people come from all over the world to volunteer. They include military groups, families, scout troops, and individuals looking to participate in a unique and meaningful experience. Volunteers get to see parts of the ship which aren’t open to the public, in addition to playing an important role in preserving a piece of American history.

Pearl Harbor is on Oahu, which is home to Honolulu and the blue waters of Waikiki and Lanikai. The island also boasts some of Hawaii’s best hiking trails, like the Stairway to HeavenLanikai Pillbox, and Maunawili Falls.