The Pearl Harbor National Memorial: Remembering Heroes
On a quiet Sunday morning almost 82 years ago, Japanese bombers launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and other U.S. military bases on the island of Oahu. Over 2,000 Americans lost their lives on December 7, 1941: “a date which will live in infamy”.
Pearl Harbor National Memorial Stands as a Quiet Reminder
The attack on Pearl Harbor thrust the United States into the war in the Pacific, and later into the war in Europe as well. Hawaii went under martial law, and the day-to-day life of those living in Hawaii changed drastically. Many Japanese Americans living in Hawaii were discriminated against, and some were sent to detention centers.
Residents of Hawaii lived with food rationing, curfews, and blackouts. The U.S. military anticipated a land invasion from the sea, so beaches were closed and barricaded, and pillboxes (bunkers) were constructed as lookouts atop many mountains, such as Diamond Head. Although a land invasion never happened, you can still see many of these relics throughout the islands today.
How to Visit Pearl Harbor National Memorial
Pearl Harbor receives over 1.8 million visitors each year. The USS Arizona Memorial is free, but reservations are required. The best and easiest way to visit the USS Arizona is through a tour, such as the one included in all our Waikiki-Oahu all-inclusive packages. Once there, you will take a Navy launch to the Memorial. At least 900 crewmen still lie within the USS Arizona, and oil leaking from the ship is still visible today. Visiting the USS Arizona at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial is an incredibly powerful experience.
In addition to the USS Arizona Memorial, there are other sites of interest such as:
- the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum
- the Battleship Missouri Memorial
- and the Pacific Fleet Submarine Museum.
These sites are not included in the Pearl Harbor National Memorial tour but may be added on through your booking agent.
Many people visit the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, also referred to as Punchbowl Cemetery, after visiting the Pearl Harbor National Memorial. It is the final resting place for many servicemen who gave their lives during the Pacific Campaign.