News from Pearl Harbor today. The USS Arizona Memorial will reopen this Sunday, September 1, 2019. At long last, the final construction was completed earlier this week.
“The National Park Service is excited to welcome our visitors back to the USS Arizona Memorial very soon,” said Pearl Harbor National Memorial Acting Superintendent Steve Mietz. 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. 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 USS Arizona Memorial has been closed since May 2018, in a a frustrating, long, dock repair project. The memorial is the most iconic part of Pearl Harbor, which is to this day the number one visitor destination in Hawaii. What happened at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, resulted in America’s entry into World War II on the following day.
It was originally slated to reopen for the National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day on December 7, 2018. Then, NPS announced that repairs would be completed by March 2019, with visits to restart in spring 2019. Today, we’re happy to learn that the memorial will open this Sunday.
Making reservations – use official website
If you plan to visit the memorial, be sure to visit the official visitor information website. Tickets, which are free except for $1 service charge, are available directly by NPS at their official visitor ticketing website. There is another website which looks official, is selling tours, but is not the actual government website.
What else to see at Pearl Harbor
Also be sure to see the two free museums, exhibits, bookstore, and the virtual reality center. The Battleship Missouri Memorial, the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, and the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor are open too and we’ve enjoyed them all. Those all have admission fees.
Pearl Harbor is open daily from 7am to 5pm (closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day). There is abundant free parking.
Pearl Harbor: Hawaii’s most popular attraction
The USS Arizona Memorial draws more than 1.8 million visitors annually. It was built over remains of sunken battleship USS Arizona, where 1,177 crewmen were killed on December 7, 1941.
Go Oahu Card includes all of Pearl Harbor and more
If you’re looking for things to do on Oahu, including all of Pearl Harbor, read how we used the Go Oahu card and saved $144 each. That ticket includes the Battleship Missouri, USS Bowfin, and Pacific Aviation Museum at Pearl Harbor among its 31 attractions.
Pearl Harbor History: 77 years old
We were at Pearl Harbor on its 75th anniversary. In a word, we were very moved. Both of us heard about how this day had impacted our families so many years ago. And how emotional they were when they subsequently were able to visit Pearl Harbor themselves. Jeff’s aunt remembered when time stood still on that day as the news struck across the country.
December 7, 1941 was the infamous day that led to the US entry into World War II. The attack started at 7:48 in the morning as 353 Japanese planes launched from 6 aircraft carriers and struck in two waves. Eight US battleships in the harbor were damaged and 4 were sunk in addition to the loss of 188 aircraft. 2,403 Americans were killed and 1,178 injured.
The USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor, was only one of two ships which remained sunk, with the others all raised and six returned to war time service. The Arizona, which had been hit with a nearly 1 ton bomb, exploded and sank with 1,000 sailors aboard. Oil continues to be exuded from the remains clearly visible below the blue Pacific.
The closed memorial was dedicated in 1962, and soon thereafter the National Park Service took over the operations of the historic landmark. Millions of annual visitors are still drawn to this top Hawaii attraction.
For us, the highlight of Pearl Harbor is by far the USS Arizona memorial. We also enjoyed the half hour documentary film followed by the brief but haunting boat ride out to the eerie memorial itself.
On our last visit, we also liked the new visitor center and the fascinating Pacific Aviation Museum. The museum includes two original hangars replete with not repaired bullet holes and the original control tower. Planes and helicopters on display with their stories provide fascinating insights into a time gone by.
Hat tip to visitor Dave S. for updates.