USS Arizona Memorial
Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii
The Arizona Memorial commemorates the site where World War II
began for the United States when the Japanese attacked
Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The memorial is also
tribute to the more then 1000 USS Arizona crew members who
lost their lives that day.
Photo Credit: United States Government Archives
About the USS Arizona Memorial Itself
The USS Arizona Memorial is a white structure
that is 184 feet long, the same length as the sunken
USS Arizona Battleship and it is oriented perpendicular
to the ship, as you can see in the above photo.
The memorial was designed by German architect
Alfred Pries. It has three main sections,
(1) the entry and assembly rooms, (2) a central
area designed for ceremonies and viewing the ship,
and (3) the shrine room where the names of those
killed on the USS Arizona are engraved on a marble wall.
History of the USS Arizona Memorial
The idea of building a memorial commemorating the
1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was first
discussed seriously in about 1943, but no action
was taken until 1949 when the Territory of Hawaii
established the Pacific War Memorial Commission.
On December 7, 1950, on the 9th anniversary of the attack,
a commemorative plaque and a flagpole were erected
above the sunken battleship. Funds for building
a USS Arizona Memorial were approved by the U.S. Congress
and President Eisenhower in 1958, construction of
the memorial was completed in 1961, and the USS Arizona
Memorial was dedicated in 1962.
Visiting the USS Arizona Memorial
USS Arizona Memorial tours begin with a brief introduction,
a 20 minute film on the Pearl Harbor attack, followed by
a boat trip to the memorial. The entire tour, including
the introduction and the film, takes
approximately 75 minutes, but waiting times for a tour
can be longer then 2 hours.
The USS Arizona Memorial Visitor's Center is open from
7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. seven days a week except on
New Year's Day and Christmas Day. I highly recommend
arriving very early to avoid a long wait because
lines can be long during peak periods.
Entry to the USS Arizona Museum and boat transportation
to the USS Arizona Memorial are free, but tickets are
handed out on a first-come first-serve basis.
The memorial is the most popular visitor attraction in Hawaii
and sometimes the tours can be sold out by noon.
Tours begin every 15 minutes between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Note that handbags, waist packs, backpacks, baby backpacks,
strollers, and any other item that offers concealment
are not allowed on the memorial, although cameras are permitted.
When you arrive at the museum you will have an opportunity to
rent a headset audio tour for about $5. The Arizona Museum
audio tour is interesting, because it is narrated by actor
Ernest Bourgnine and real-life survivors of the attack on
Pearl Harbor, but if you don't want to spend the money
you can enjoy the museum without it.
You will be invited to tour the USS Arizona indoor
museum while you are waiting
for the tour you have been assigned to. If you will have an
exceptionally long wait you can also visit the Bowfin
Submarine Museum while you are waiting for your Arizona
tour time slot. When your tour begins, you will first
watch a very moving 25 minute film about the attack on
Pearl Harbor and the sinking of the USS Arizona.
Then you will board a boat for a short, scenic cruise
across Pearl Harbor. When you arrive at the memorial
you will be given 10 or 15 minutes to walk around on
the memorial before you are transported back to the
Photos of the USS Arizona Being Attacked
Planning a Day in Pearl Harbor
Oahu Island - Main Menu
Islands of Hawaii
Hawaii for Visitors
Elsewhere on the Web
Arizona Memorial Museum Association
Pearl Harbor Memorial Fund