Why the USS Arizona is a Crucial Part of Any Pearl Harbor Tour

Different types of tours

If you’re visiting Oahu, make sure the Pearl Harbor Tour package you choose includes the USS Arizona Memorial.

The Japanese attack that brought the United States into World War II on Sunday, December 7, 1941 also resulted in the sinking of the Battleship USS Arizona, which became the final resting place for many of the 1,177 crewmen who lost their lives on the ship.

Unlike many of the ships that were damaged or sunk in the attacks, the Arizona wasn’t able to be completely salvaged, and the wreckage still lies at the bottom of Pearl Harbor.
The USS Arizona was dedicated as a memorial on May 30, 1962

The USS Arizona Memorial is a 184-foot-long structure that spans the mid-section of the sunken battleship. Honolulu architect Alfred Pries designed the structure as a bridge at the request of the United States Navy. The structure is high at both ends and sags in the middle, symbolizing the height of national pride right before World War I, the depression after the Pearl Harbor attack, and America’s rise to power after the war.

The structure consists of three sections: The entry room, the assembly room (designed for ceremonies and observation) and the shrine room, with a marble wall where the names of those killed on the Arizona are engraved. In spite of this observance, the memorial has come to honor all military personnel who lost their lives in the Pearl Harbor attack.

Survivors of the attack are allowed to inter their ashes within the ship, among their fallen comrades, upon their death, and veterans who served on the Arizona at other times may have their ashes scattered in the water above it.

Free, daily USS Arizona Tours are offered from 8 a.m.-3 p.m., and 2,000 free walk-up tickets are distributed each day at the Pearl Harbor visitor center on a first-come, first-serve basis. Walk-ups are encouraged to arrive early and should be advised that the Pearl Harbor Tour Visitor Center opens at 7 a.m.

The tour takes visitors to the memorial on a Navy operated boat and includes a 23-minute film on the history of the ship. The USS Arizona offers great educational tours for adults and kids, so make sure to include it in your Pearl Harbor tour.

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