The USS Arizona Memorial
The Arizona Memorial: Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, and the USS Arizona; if you think of one, you immediately think of all three. It was on that date in history, the Imperial Japanese Navy launched its aircraft to bomb Pearl Harbor bringing World War II to the Pacific. We all know the outcome of the War but it’s here at the memorial where we can remember the losses of that day. It was at approximately 8:10, in the morning, when the USS Arizona was hit by a 1,760 pound armor-piercing bomb. Nine minutes later she had sunk entombing 1,177 members of her crew.
A well-known Honolulu architect, Alfred Preis, designed the memorial. March 25, 1961, Elvis Presley held a concert at Pearl Harbor and more than $60,000 was raised to start construction of the memorial.
Visit the Arizona Memorial
Today, the U.S. Parks Service operates the Arizona Memorial visitor center at Pearl Harbor and presents a film program of the events surrounding that day. At the end of the film, the U.S. Navy shuttles visitors out to board the memorial. All of the services are free of charge. When you first arrive at the Visitors Center you will see a reception desk. It is at this desk where you need to pick up a ticket. The ticket is free but it has a number on it. This number is how they determine the order in which visitors will start the tour. Waiting times can range from just a few minutes up to 1-2 hours depending on the number of visitors at that time. As you would expect, if you are visiting on Memorial Day or on December 7th, the time may be more than you’re willing to wait. The memorial is open every day from 7:30 to 3:00 except on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day when it is closed.
Arizona Memorial Last Words
If you have been to Hawaii before and visited the Arizona Memorial, don’t let that stop you from another visit. Just a couple years ago a new visitors center was finished. The new center has all of what was at the old center plus a lot more. It is well worth another visit. The Arizona Memorial symbolizes the beginning of WWII. Next we’ll move on to an article about the USS Missouri Battleship which marks the end of WWII.