USS Arizona Memorial
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
visited December, 2000
USS Arizona (BB-39) DANFS
The Arizona memorial was stop #1 on day #1 of my Hawaiian vacation. The guidebooks correctly point out that you should arrive early to secure an early session. I arrived about 15 minutes before the Visitor Center opened, and wound up with a ticket to the fourth group. I only had to wait about an hour, which I spent perusing the Museum and the casualty plaques located outside. The plaza also offered a splendid view of the USS Missouri (BB-63) at her temporary mooring at Pier F5.
The Arizona experience begins with a 25-minute film that sketches the history of the ship, the attack and events thereafter. There weren't many dry eyes at the end, which I suspect is exactly what the Park Service wants. When you visit the Memorial, you are on the tomb of 1, 177 U.S. servicemen who died defending their ship. It is not a place for idle tourism. My group unfortunately had some insensitive people and I wound up visiting the Memorial again at the end of my trip to leave with a better feeling. On both legs of the harbor crossing (on a launch crewed by U.S. Navy personnel) an audio tape plays. On the way back I noted the content was mostly "forgive and forget". It's probably appropriate because a large number of Japanese visit the Memorial each year.
The Arizona Memorial shares parking space with the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, where you can also purchase tickets for the USS Missouri. Some harbor cruises offer a passing view of the Memorial, but the Visitor Center is the only place where you can obtain tickets for the Memorial itself. The Memorial is open to all visitors at no cost.
(click on thumbnails to show the larger image)
For More Information:
Arizona Memorial Museum Association
Pearl Harbor: Remembered
National Park Service
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