Oahu (Part 2): USS Arizona Memorial

One of the top destinations on our trip to Oahu was to visit the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, specifically, the USS Arizona Memorial. We are usually on top of things, and book tickets for tours ahead of time. Not for this one. By the time we went online to book a tour of the Memorial, they were all sold out. In order to get two of the daily released tickets (1300 daily), we arrived in line at 6:00 am. This arrival time put us approximately 50th in line.


By the 7:00 opening, the line was wrapped around the parking lot.

There is no cost for the ferry tickets to the memorial. The program consists of a short film and boat trip to the memorial. All total, the duration is 75 minutes. Prior to departure, the somber tone of the experience is set with a 25 minute documentary film outlining both the memorial and the fateful events from December 7, 1941, that led to the memorial.

The US Navy operates ferries to the memorial
The Arizona Memorial is next to the battleship USS Missouri, where the Japanese surrendered to end WWII.


It is stressed throughout the program that the memorial stands over the sunken USS Arizona, a tomb for nearly 1000 men. Recovery operations were not conducted, as the remains of the fallen sailors were beyond identification. The bombs dropped by Japanese attack planes ignited the large amount of ammunition, creating an inescapable situation for many men.

The Arizona has been leaking oil for the past 75 years, and is estimated to leak for another 75 years. An oil slick is visible floating on the surface of the harbor.


Portions of the ship never submerged below the harbor
Other white platforms are throughout the harbor, marking where other ships were attacked.

The goal of the Japanese was to destroy the US Pacific fleet while in Pearl Harbor. Although their mission did accomplish a portion of their goal, the aircraft carriers were not in the harbor that morning.


A dedication plaque can be seen on display near the entrance. The monument was approved during the Eisenhower administration, and completed in 1961.


The USS Missouri sits on display nearby. The Japanese surrendered on this ship.
The names of the fallen are inscribed on the walls of the memorial. As survivors pass away, they have the option to have their remains placed inside the ship with their shipmates. To date, only 5 survivors remain.
A flag waves over the USS Arizona Memorial

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