The USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center is open during the federal government shutdown on a week-by-week basis, at least through the end of January, according to Pacific Historic Parks CEO Aileen Utterdyke. That while the USS Arizona Memorial remains closed for repairs. Read on for more on what’s open and what’s not.
Hawaii airlines, tour companies, and hotels recently contributed in excess of $50,000 to keep the center afloat. Non-profit organizations and the Hawaii Tourism office are helping too. Thanks to them, the center’s programs and public restrooms remain open.
We are informing you of this because the NPS website is not being updated at this time. “During the federal government shutdown, this website will not be updated and may not reflect current conditions. Some national parks may remain accessible to visitors; however, access may change without notice.”
USS Arizona Reopening Update
In November, the National Park Service announced that repairs on the USS Arizona Memorial would be completed by March 2019, so you could visit starting this spring. But now there’s the government shutdown. Here’s what it means for planning your visit to Pearl Harbor.
Prior to the shutdown, progress had moved from the design phase to actual work. There remains a high priority on early completion due to the national significance of the monument. Actual reopening date will be announced following the government reopening.
Pearl Harbor USS Arizona Memorial was closed indefinitely in May 2018, as a result of emergency repairs needed to its visitor dock and ramp. The memorial is the most iconic part of Pearl Harbor, which is to this day the number one visitor destination in Hawaii. Pearl Harbor marks the place where World War II began in the United States on December 7, 1941.
Unfortunately, construction was not able to be completed for the National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day on December 7. “Not being able to welcome survivors and their families on the USS Arizona Memorial… is heartbreaking.” — Jacqueline Ashwell, superintendent of WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument. ”
While the memorial itself will remain closed for a few more months, visitors can still see the moving 25 minute documentary, which is followed by a harbor tour of Battleship Row nearby (but not docking at) the USS Arizona Memorial.
The Remainder of Pearl Harbor Remains Open and Accessible
That includes the two free museums, exhibits, bookstore, and virtual reality center. The Battleship Missouri Memorial, the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, and the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor are also open.
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.
The remainder of Pearl Harbor remains open daily from 7am to 5pm (closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day). Admission and parking is free to all visitors.
Go Oahu Card Includes Pearl Harbor Memorials and More
If you’re looking for things to do on Oahu, including Pearl Harbor, read how we used the Go Oahu card and saved $144 each. It includes the Battleship Missouri, USS Bowfin, and Pacific Aviation Museum at Pearl Harbor among its 31 attractions.
Pearl Harbor History: 76 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, now the iconic memorial pictured above, 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 temporarily closed memorial was dedicated in 1962 and soon thereafter the National Park Service took over the operations of the national 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 shuttered 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.