Sisters dance in Hawaii at Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade

Published 2:53 pm Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Alisha Richardson, a sixth grader at Polk County Middle School, and her sister, Brianna Richardson, a senior at Polk County High School, recently got the opportunity of a lifetime! 

These two Polk County students were invited by their dance teachers as well as World Strides Onstage to travel to Honolulu, Hawaii to dance at Pearl Harbor as well as the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade honoring WWII military veterans on the 76th anniversary of this tragic event.

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The girls, along with several other dance groups from across the country, performed for a crowd in front of the USS Bowfin. After dancing, each dance troupe was presented with an American flag that had actually flown at Pearl Harbor. 

Later, they walked through the USS Bowfin and saw how American submariners lived and fought during WWII. These two sisters were especially excited to travel to the place where their great grandfather had once worked after the bombing in 1941. He worked on the ships that had been badly damaged by the bombing. 

Brianna stated, “I really enjoyed learning about the history of World War II, but it was even more interesting knowing that my own ancestor once stood on these grounds and helped to put the ships back in service.” 

Later in the week, the girls got to dance and perform in the 76th Annual Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade to honor and commemorate those who have served our country. Survivors of the Pearl Harbor attack led the parade.   

It was a trip these two sisters will never forget. Both girls got to learn about the history and culture of the area while exploring exotic Hawaii. They saw the other bases that were bombed in the attack and the sights where numerous TV shows and movies had been filmed.

The sisters got to snorkel, watch surfing along the North Shore, visit the Dole Plantation and take master dance classes. 

“It was a fun and exciting trip, but it was a lot of work” said Alisha. “We had to practice several hours a day to get ready. My favorite part of the trip besides dancing was getting to watch a luau. My sister was even chosen to go up on stage to dance.”

It was a week packed with history, challenges and fun.

– submitted by Michelle Richardson