Visitors Center At This Moving Oahu Tourist Attraction
The most emotionally moving attraction in the Hawaiian Islands is again open to visitors.
The USS Arizona Memorial, part of the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites, has repairs completed that had it closed for more than a year.
“It is a great honor to share the stories of the men of the USS Arizona, and all of those who served, suffered and sacrificed on Oahu on December 7, 1941,” said Pearl Harbor National Memorial Acting Superintendent Steve Mietz. “That is the cornerstone of our mission here, and restoration of public access to this iconic place is critical as we continue to tell their stories and honor their memory.”
The $2.1 million project improved the dock’s anchoring system and addressed a critical infrastructure need at the park. Since May 2018, the NPS has completed multiple phases of the project to include analysis, contracting, design, environmental compliance, mobilization, unexploded ordnance screening, resource preservation and project execution. All of this was facilitated with much assistance from the NPS’s dedicated partners in the United States Navy and Department of Defense.
The Memorial is an incredibly moving experience. After viewing the film in the visitor center, you board a US Navy tender and are transported to the site where the battleship sits beneath the water. The ship was never raised after the attack because it was determined too damaged to save.
The ride out to the Arizona is silent and respectful. You then step aboard the memorial, which is a small dock above the ship. It displays all the names of the 1,177 sailors and marines killed on board when a Japanese bomb ripped through the decks and exploded i the ship’s ammunition area.
Be sure and look over the side to see droplets of oil rising to the surface of the water. It’s from a small leak in the ship. Some say it’s the tears of the sailors and marines.
You’re only there for 15 minutes or so but again, it’s very silent, only a few whispers of people who are amazed at the long list of names on the wall of the memorial.
Then it’s a reflective and quiet ride back to the visitor’s center.