Pearl Harbor’s 82nd Remembrance: USS Arizona and USS Missouri

In honor of National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day on December 7, Beat of Hawaii visited this week while preparations for the commemoration were in full swing. The USS Arizona memorial remains the single most popular and in-demand Hawaii destination each year. Nearly two million visitors come here, more than eight decades after it was attacked.

“At the direction of the President of the United States, Governor Josh Green, M.D., has ordered that the United States flag and the Hawaii state flag at state offices be flown at half-staff on Thursday, December 7, 2023.”

When you visit the Arizona Memorial, you are standing above the sunken hull of the battleship where 1,102 soldiers died during a Japanese attack on December 7, 1941. The event marked the US entering World War II. FDR said the attack was “A date which will live in infamy.” He was so right based on the crowd we witnessed, which included visitors from all over the world.

Close to the Arizona Memorial is the Battleship Missouri, where the treaty was signed that ended WWII. This ship was our focus on this week’s visit since no tickets were available to the Arizona Memorial.

Watch the 2023 National Pearl Harbor Commemoration Ceremony online. 

It will take place on December 7, 2023, at 7:45 a.m., Hawaii time (9:45 west coast). It can be found at In addition, the USS Oklahoma Ceremony will take place on December 7, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. Hawaii time. It can be found at

Pearl Harbor

The Pearl Harbor USS Arizona Memorial offers an iconic free tour.

Watch a 30-minute introductory film followed by a boat ride that takes passengers to the memorial. It is an unforgettable experience to visit and brings up many emotions.

Arizona tour visitors are required to reserve tickets online in advance and check in within 30 minutes of their tour. Limited same-day tickets may also be available. There is no cost to visit except for a $1 per person ticketing fee.

Pearl Harbor is open daily from 7 am to 5 pm (closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day). There is abundant paid parking for $7 a day. See parking details below.

What to see when visiting Pearl Harbor.

There are various fees for visiting the other parts of Pearl Harbor beyond the free USS Arizona Memorial tour.

  • The Mighty Mo, the USS Missouri, is a unique and historic battleship where WWII ended.
  • USS Bowfin Submarine Museum offers a glimpse of what warfare underwater was like in World War II.
  • Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor offers a large and diverse display of historic aircraft and other artifacts, together with stories that bring WWII in the skies to life many decades later. Its hangars show damage from the attacks on Pearl Harbor.
  • The battleship USS Oklahoma Memorial serves to honor the heavy casualties the crew suffered during the attack on Pearl Harbor.
  • A Remembrance Garden features memorials and plaques honoring those who lost their lives in the December 7 attack.

$7/day parking fee

The parking, once free, has a charge which is paid via a virtual pay system through either phone or through the onsite kiosk located at the Visitor Center.

The Battleship Missouri Memorial.

This week we newly rediscovered The USS Missouri. The battleship is renowned for the significant role it played in history. Most notably, it was the site of the Japanese surrender which ended World War II.

Visiting there this week, we gained new insights into its past and could still sense the presence of those who served on the battleship. The visitor tour included significant time explaining the surrender that brought it to life.

The USS Missouri was built at the New York Naval Shipyard. It was commissioned in June 1944 and was both the final battleship the US built and the last commissioned into the US Navy.

Critical role of USS Missouri in World War II.

The battleship was part of the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. But it was its role in the ending of World War II that it is best remembered historically and in person. Standing at the very place where the end of WWII occurred is experiencing a moment of history that took place on September 2, 1945, when Japanese officials and military signed the Instrument of Surrender on the ship’s deck in Tokyo Bay.

After the war, the battleship also served in the Korean War. From 1954 to 1984, it was moored at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Washington. Editor Rob grew up near there and remembers visiting the Mighty Mo many times as a child and young man in the 1960s to mid-1970s. The battleship was also brought back into service in the Gulf War.

Preparations for 82nd commemoration.

Incredible USS Missouri Museum.

When it was finally decommissioned in 1992, it became a museum ship, relocated to Pearl Harbor and docked very near the USS Arizona Memorial.

Here, visitors receive free and fascinating docent tours, many from those who have retired from the Navy. Explore its decks, walking throughout and seeing first hand what life was like on the battleship, and learning more of its remarkable place in history is incredible.

USS Missouri Captain’s Quarters

The mission of the USS Missouri Memorial Association is to preserve, share, and honor the Battleship Missouri’s historical significance. Tickets and any items purchased there serve to fund the museum’s operation, as it is not supported by the government.

How the USS Missouri came to reside in Hawaii.

The battleship moved to Pearl Harbor and became a museum on January 29, 1999. It was moved to Hawaii due to its historical significance related to the end of WWII, to which it serves as a living testament.

The ship is placed very near the USS Arizona Memorial, allowing visitors to experience both the point of entry of the US into WWII and the place where the war ended on September 2, 1945.

Watch the Pearl Harbor attack video.

We invite you to share memories today of your visits to Pearl Harbor.

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8 thoughts on “Pearl Harbor’s 82nd Remembrance: USS Arizona and USS Missouri”

  1. On my first visit to the USS Missouri (right after the USS Arizona Memorial), I noted on the tour the Missouri is moored facing towards the Arizona Memorial, the reverse of the battleship moorings the day of the attack. I asked the veteran/docent whether the ship should have been facing/moored the other way.

    He replied softly “This way the Missouri will always be standing watch over our boys.”

    I teared right up and still do remembering the reverence of his tone. Think about that next time you visit to pay respects to the Greatest Generation.

  2. My son and I left flowers from a Lei on the Arizona. We asked a Park Ranger if it was allowed. Yes, just don’t let the sting in the water. She still was having oil drops rising.
    God Bless

  3. Remember the greatness of our country in one of its darkest hours by responding with a force and determination that is the envy of the world.

  4. Mahalo BOH for sharing this important information on Pearl Harbor. On our first visit to Oahu 8 yrs ago, it was the first reason for our trip. We wanted to honor those who served and died in service of our country.
    As time passes, too many have forgotten and too many have never learned this important history.
    Sincerely, Suzanna & John

  5. My visit to Pearl Harbor was very emotional. To know I was standing above the USS Arizona. So many people died that day. I would like to go back and visit the USS Missouri. My uncle was stationed at Pearl Harbor after the attack. No one knew if it would be attacked again. He was on a ship that was bombed. They barely made it back to shore. He fell off of a ladder and injured his back. He was taken to a navy hospital in San Diego. He received an honorable/medical discharge.

  6. I used to volunteer in the engineering department of the ship when I was stationed on Oahu in the late 90’s. I’ve done everything from sand the teak decks to scrub rust to help get the ship’s sanitation transfer systems back on line. Loved every bit of it. It’s a marvel.

    Here’s to all of them. RIP

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