From the towering volcanoes to the clear blue waters, Hawaii is home to countless famous spots. When third grader Harrison Johnson chose the Pacific island for his landmark project, he had to make the difficult choice of selecting just one location to focus on. Inspired by his father’s experience as a pilot in the Air Force, Harrison decided to learn about Pearl Harbor.
When Harrison started looking at photos of the USS Arizona and reading biographies of survivors, his curiosity only grew. He convinced his parents to take a family trip to Hawaii to see Pearl Harbor in person. After visiting the historic landmark, Harrison wanted to make sure people would not forget about the lives impacted during Pearl Harbor. He decided to raise a hundred thousand dollars for the Pearl Harbor memorial fund.
Over Memorial Day weekend, Harrison sold ice cream at The Hasentree Club, which hosted a cookout in honor of his fundraising initiatives (watch Harrison’s WRAL interview). With help from Pacific Historic Parks, the stewards of the Pearl Harbor Memorial, Harrison created a website for Harrison’s Heroes. On the site, visitors can watch Harrison talk about his USS Arizona landmark project and donate to the Pearl Harbor Memorial Fund.
Shay Jernigan, Harrison’s third grade teacher, said, “I am so proud of Harrison’s efforts to extend his learning on his third grade landmark project. After researching and writing about the location and construction of the Pearl Harbor Memorial, he has also found a way to make a difference for those directly involved with the landmark’s history. In addition to being very interested in the project, Harrison has a very supportive family and Harrison’s Heroes is a shining example of what can be accomplished when there is a supportive partnership among school and home.”