During our Hawaii visit we island hopped from Maui to Oahu with the intention of seeing Pearl Harbor. 45 years ago, my grandparents took me to Pearl Harbor and I have never forgotten being told the history and events that took place here. Although, I couldn’t give all the details I was taught at 5 years of age. I have distinctively remembered over the years being told that the ones that died in the ship were not removed and the ship became a cemetery for 1177 people.
Many more died outside the ship including civilians. As a little girl, this was extremely impactful and am greatly appreciative that I got to revisit as an adult. Today, it is still extremely impactful.
The tour begins with a video lasting approximately 15 minutes. This video has great details of the day and explains events leading up to the attack in Pearl Harbor.
As we crossed the waters to the site of the USS Arizona we could see parts of the ship above water and the fuel that is still slowly leaking from the ship after 76 years. (there is a great aerial shot at https://www.nps.gov/valr/faqs.htm)
Guest are limited to picture taking opportunities but we were able to snap a few. The wall listing names of everyone that never left the ship that day in 1941 and the names of all that have died since sits in a room made solely for this purpose.
I learned something new while visiting. All servicemen of the USS Arizona that have died since the tragic event can have their cremated remains put inside the ship with their shipmates.
While at the Memorial site, a ship came into the harbor. I was able to video the ship and its crew as it sailed past the USS Arizona. Feel free to view as the USS Arizona is saluted.
Visiting the USS Arizona is a moving reality. Prior to your visit, check out www.nps.gov to understand how to get tickets. Tickets to the USS Arizona are free. The line may seem long but we were able to get tickets and an employee informed us that he had never seen the line so long.
In addition to the USS Arizona, and for a fee, Pearl Harbor has the Bowfin Submarine and a bus that will take you around the corner to Ford Island to the US Missouri Battleship and The Pacific Aviation Museum. Plan all day to see all attractions and wear a good pair of walking shoes, there is much to see and you won’t want to miss any of it.