Recently we finally visited the U.S.S. Arizona, "Valor in the Pacific" and Pearl Harbor Memorials in Honolulu, Hawaii. Even though my husband's grandparents' home had a view of Pearl Harbor, in the twenty-plus year's of going to Hawaii, we had never visiting the memorial.
Visiting Pearl Harbor was a very sobering event. We took photos of the memorials but even in the ones with family, no one is smiling. The faces looked like those of people attending a funeral. It's a sad, tragic event in our nation's history. So much unnecessary loss of life. One hopefully never to be repeated.
Several years ago we met one of the few remaining survivors of Pearl Harbor while sitting in one of the rocking chairs at the Sheraton Moana Surfrider Hotel. Although this veteran lived on the mainland and visiting was a big expense and ordeal, his wife said they'd been coming every year for the annual parade and ceremony. Sadly, the 70th Anniversary trip was their last.
After the 75th anniversary, the traditional parade and honoring of survivors ceased, as the travel (and emotion) is too taxing for the last Pearl Harbor veterans.
The memorial itself marks the resting place of 1,102 of the 1,177 sailors and Marines killed on USS Arizona during the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. More details can be found at http://www.ussarizona.org.
The Pearl Harbor Visitor Center and Pacific Historic Parks bookstore is open from 7 am to 5 pm, seven days a week, except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. The USS Arizona Memorial tours run every 15 minutes from 8 am to 3 pm. See the Pearl Harbor video at https://youtu.be/m621PsbfIOc.
The National Park Services hands out 1,300 free walk-in tickets daily, on a first-come, first-serve basis. It is highly recommended that visitors arrive at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center early. Doors open at 7 am. Advance ticket reservations are available through www.recreation.gov. Visitors do not need tickets for the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center and museums. Entrance and parking are both free.
The Pearl Harbor Visitor Center fact sheet includes two helpful maps of the Visitor Center. Click here to download the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center Fact Sheet in English.
In honor of the 78th Anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor, considering visiting and liking their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/PacificParks.
Images from public domain and U.S. government websites.
Thanks for reading "A Day That Will Live in Infamy December 7 Pearl Harbor Day".