Presiding over the final resting place of the USS Arizona, the USS Arizona Memorial is located just off Ford Island on Pearl Harbor’s “Battleship Row.”
The 184-foot-long gleaming white structure was built to honor the 2,390 people who died December 7, 1941, during Japan’s infamous attack on Pearl Harbor, including 1,177 heroes still entombed in the Arizona. The original memorial was a flagpole attached to the broken main mast of the ship with a commemorative plaque. This tribute was ordered erected in 1950 by Admiral Arthur Radford, then-Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet. In 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower approved the design for the present structure, which was completed in 1961 and dedicated a year later. There are three main sections of the memorial: the entry and assembly room; a central area designed for ceremonies and general observation; and the shrine room, where the names of those killed on the Arizona are engraved on a marble wall.
Visiting the Memorial
The Arizona Memorial is one of Hawaii’s most popular attractions, welcoming more than 1 million visitors each year. Operated by the National Parks Service, the park is open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission is free and tickets for the boat shuttle are given out on a first-come, first-serve basis. Timed programs to the memorial begin at 8:00 a.m. and run through 3:00 p.m., daily.
Tip: The memorial is one of Hawaii’s most popular attractions and you should expect heavy visitation throughout the year. Be prepared to wait up to 2 hours for a program depending on the season.
Included is a brief documentary film about the Pearl Harbor attack and a shuttle ride to the Arizona. On some days, you can even listen to oral histories told by actual survivors of the attack.
When planning your trip to the Arizona Memorial, be sure to leave enough time to visit Pearl Harbor’s other attractions, including the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, spotlighting the famed “Pearl Harbor Avenger” that was launched on December 7, 1942. You’ll also want to visit the Battleship Missouri Memorial. It was onboard the deck of the Missouri (also known as the “Mighty MO”) that General Douglas MacArthur and Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz, along with other U.S. and allied officers, accepted the unconditional surrender of the Japanese at the end of World War II.