“December 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy.”
— President Franklin D. Roosevelt
The bombing of Pearl Harbor and other Oahu military installations that day left scores of people dead and wounded and propelled the United States into World War II.
Pearl Harbor National Memorial is a place of remembrance, where visitors can hear the personal histories of World War II. The National Parks site is home to a visitor center, two impressive museums and several shipwreck memorials, including the famed USS Arizona Memorial.
The USS Arizona became the final resting place for most of the 1,177 of her crew who were killed. Dedicated in 1962, the 184-foot USS Arizona Memorial straddles the midsection of the sunken battleship; the names of all her lost sailors are engraved on a marble wall in its shrine room.
Tours of the memorial begin with a 23-minute film that explores the people and politics associated with the December 7 attack. After watching the film, visitors are transported to the memorial via a shuttle boat. Oil still leaks from the wreck, leaving slicks on water’s surface—tears, many say, from the Arizona. The memorial was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1966; the ship itself was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1989.
Entry to the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center is free, with no reservations required. The USS Arizona Memorial program is also free; however, reservations are required. Please note that bags are not allowed at the park but can be stored onsite.