A Day to Remember: Pearl Harbor

USS Arizona Memorial

USS Arizona Memorial

My father was born on December 11, 1941 while my grandfather had already joined the military. For my whole life I have heard how my father was born three days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the triggering event of American involvement in World War II. The attack claimed the lives of over 2000 military and civilian personnel and damaged or destroyed 21 vessels and 170 planes. I had always wanted to visit this memorial, and as it says on the plaque it is “a place of reflection, which answers some questions and raises others, a journey to the past.”

USS Arizona Memorial Museum

USS Arizona Memorial Museum

Parts of the Memorial Center are an active duty station no photography is permitted in those areas. We took the bus to Ford Island and were ready to see the USS Missouri, or MIGHTY MO, a battleship in service for fifty years during three wars, World War II, Korean War and also Desert Storm. We chose to follow an audio tour, although there is a guided tour as well. Seeing the plaque at the 1945 site of the signing of the Japanese surrender in World War II was momentous. Walking the ship and seeing the crew quarters felt like walking the decks of history. I saw a group of Japanese tourists with a tour guide speaking in Japanese and felt impressed that they were on the ship learning another side of the history of our shared past.

You could definitely spend more than one day at the Visitor Center. Our excursions around the Mighty Mo took us nearly two hours and we did not get to see the USS Bowfin Sub Museum or the Pacific Aviation Museum, but we did watch the video at the USS Arizona Memorial. I appreciated the history lesson and felt a new perspective on what happened and the choices our forefathers made.

Shuttle Boat

The boat ride to the USS Arizona memorial was quiet. Everyone was reflecting on the film. I appreciate the courage, commitment and service of all the members of the military who served and lost their lives for the United States. I hope that we can all learn to live together so there is no more war or need for memorials.

This memorial site represents both the beginning and the ending of World War II. I highly recommend you include the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center in your trip in Oahu. One bus driver told us the nicknames of the Hawaiian Islands: Big Island: Orchid, Kauai: Garden, Maui: Valley, Molokai: Friendly, Oahu: Shopping! So if you do decide to go shopping, the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center is near Aloha Stadium has the flea market and swap meet. You can purchase 10 t-shirts for $20. I also recommend the Diamond Head hike and snorkeling at Hanuma Bay, but whatever you do, visit the memorial so that you can “Remember, Understand and Honor.”

THINGS TO KNOW:

TICKETS:
USS Arizona is free to visit but you must have a timed ticket. There is a brand new online ticketing service available and for $1.50 fee I think it is well worth it to plan your visit to this incredible site in advance! National Park Service Website: NPS.gov

Since our visit last month there is a new Passport to Pearl Harbor:

Mighty Mo Pass $22 $11 Purchase
NEW! Battleship the Movie Tour beginning May 19, 2012
(includes Mighty Mo Pass) $47 $23 Purchase
NEW! 1-Day Passport to Pearl Harbor $55 $30 Purchase
NEW! 2-Day Passport to Pearl Harbor $65 $35 Purchase

Daily Hours:
Arizona Memorial Center 7am-5pm 808-422-3300
USS Arizona Memorial boat shuttles: 8am-3pm (every 15 minutes)
MIGHTY MO: 8am-4pm 808-455-1600
Bowfin Park: 7am-5pm 808-423-1341
Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor: 9am-5pm, 808-441-1000

Bags are prohibited in the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center and Memorial, Battleship Missouri Memorial and USS Bowfin Submarine Museum. Storage is available for a fee.

From downtown Honolulu to Pearl Harbor Visitor Center: Taxi $45 (45min), Bus $2.50 (1.5 hour)

About the author: Lisa Niver Rajna, M.A. Ed. is an accomplished travel agent, blogger, speaker, science teacher and member of the Traveler’s Century Club, a unique travel club limited to travelers who have visited one hundred or more countries. She traveled across six continents with Club Med, Princess Cruises, Renaissance Cruises and Royal Caribbean International.She also writes for the travel section at Technorati.com and blogs on the Jewish Journal, WeSaidGoTravel and ScienceIsntScary.

Lisa Niver

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About the Author

Lisa Niver
Lisa Niver, M.A. Education, is a passionate writer, educator, social media ninja, speaker and global citizen who has traveled to over one hundred countries and six continents. She is the co-author of Traveling in Sin and co-founder of We Said Go Travel. You might find her underwater, traveling to an exotic location, teaching in the classroom or in print about social media, science education, lifelong learning, books, and travel.Recently on National Television as a science teacher on the show Career Day, she was also a 2012 nominee for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching. Niver writes for many online and offline publications including National Geographic, the Huffington Post, the Guardian and the Jewish Journal. She and her husband, George, are starting their third sabbatical year! Follow them on Facebook or @WeSaidGoTravel on twitter!

3 Comments on "A Day to Remember: Pearl Harbor"

  1. Thank you for the opportunity to post about our trip to Pearl Harbor! Lisa

  2. The place looks so lovely now but I guess there were also bad memories in the place?

  3. Wow, you even mentioned the Passport to Pearl Harbor! Thanks for mention about Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor!

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