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Wishes and Dreams

Since 2016, Pacific Historic Parks, in cooperation with the National Park Service and the United States Navy, has granted over 800 special requests to visit the Pearl Harbor Historic sites.  These requests come from America’s youth fighting serious illnesses and life-threatening diseases via foundations like Make-A-Wish, Dreams Come True, Sunshine Kids, and more.

The goal of the program is to provide a unique Pearl Harbor visit to every Wishes and Dreams child, with experiences and activities tailored to each child’s interests. This allows the program to make a difference in these children’s lives.

President & Chief Executive Officer

Pacific Historic Parks President's Message

Pacific Historic Parks proudly partners with the National Park Service, the U.S. Navy, the Make-a-Wish Foundation and its partners.  

The joy in these children's faces says it all when they meet a park ranger, sailor and on occasion a member of our Greatest Generation.

The somber visit to the USS Arizona Memorial is a highlight of each trip.

Our team looks forward to providing an experience they and their families will never forget.

"Best Day Ever" - Luke

Luke visiting from the Make-A-Wish Foundation in California asked to have a "World War II experience and is very excited about the Pearl Harbor museum(s)".  Luke got his wish of a World War II experience, he was escorted by US Navy Ensign De Leon onto Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam where he visited the court of heroes and met with Captain Jeff Bernard, Commanding Officer of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam who took time to speak to Luke and his family and show the history of the navy at Pearl Harbor.  CAPT Bernard presented him with a hat of the unsinkable Pearl Harbor battleship USS Nevada.  Luke even had a chance to meet MSgt Sterling Cale a retired MSgt-US Army who was stationed on Ford Island during the attack and landed with the Marines as a Pharmacist Mate throughout the Pacific before changing to the Army and served in Korea and Vietnam. 

"Keeping History Alive for the Next Generation"

Meghan from the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana area asked "I wish to visit Pearl Harbor and learn about its history, the importance of that day so that I can continue to share the stories of the brave soldiers, keeping history alive for the next generation."

Mighty Meg, as she is known, got her wish, and visited all that the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites had to offer.  She walked away with a lot of wonderful memorabilia from Pacific Historic Parks, Pacific Fleet Submarine, Battleship Missouri Memorial, and the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum that she made a remembrance shadowbox.

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"Keeping History Alive for the Next Generation"

The Power of a "Wish"

(A parent's perspective)

What is a “Wish”?  What does it mean?  What can it accomplish?  Why should I support Make-A-Wish?  All pertinent questions, this is what a “Wish” has meant to our family. 

 

Our daughter was 14 years old when we heard the words “it’s Cancer”.  Words that are so profound and life-changing, you can’t truly comprehend what your life had now become.   A whirlwind of surgery, treatments, traveling for care, hospital stays, clinic visits, home health visits, endless testing and therapies.  Fear, pain and tears. Your life is totally out of control and you have no idea what the next 5 minutes will bring.  

 

Now imagine, during all of this chaos, someone hands you the most amazing gift.  A Wish!  

 

A Wish is a chance for your child to have a voice and a choice!  When literally their entire life has been turned upside down and all control has been stripped away from them, a Wish grants them power and hope!  Your child can dream and plan for the future!  Such a powerful motivator, a reason to continue to fight when they are so exhausted from treatments and testing.  

 

Do they wish to travel?  Meet a celebrity?  Have a puppy?  A place to play?  The possibilities are endless.  Yet to each child it is personal and perfect for them.  

 

For our daughter, it was to travel to Hawaii and visit Pearl Harbor.  Lots of different options were thought of before she settled on this specific Wish.  The power of her Wish was in the ability to dream.  Of going somewhere special when she was healthy and able to walk again, without a walker.   It helped her to push through endless hours, days and months of therapy.   Just knowing she had a Wish, a tropical paradise filled with history waiting for her, was her motivation.   

 

Fast forward to the time when her Wish trip arrived.  All of her hard work, hoping and dreaming was realized.  Such an incredible life experience!  Not only witnessing the past but embracing the future.   Truly living again!  

 

This is the Power of a Wish!

"Everything was my Favorite" -Elliot

Elliot from the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Los Angeles wished to visit Pearl Harbor, visit and learn at the historical sites, pay his respects, visit a warship, and see some aircraft.  The US Navy's Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific and the Airforce's 15th/154th Wing of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam went above and beyond.

Elliot met the Commander of Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, Captain Joseph Ring.  Elliot joined the Hawaiian Raptor Fighter Squadron, and he ended his visit aboard the USS Daniel K. Inouye.