Grief Tourism

Travel to areas affected by natural disasters, places where people were murdered, etc.

U.S.S. Arizona Memorial – Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

30th May 2006

The U.S.S. Arizona Memorial is dedicated to the 1,177 lives that were lost in the early morning hours on December 7, 194l, when the Japanese launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.  The replica of the Arizona reflects the initial, unforgettable defeat, the sad decline of the war, and the rising strength and final victory by the United States.  The American flag was placed over the site of the sunken battleship in 1950 by Admiral Radford, Commander in Chief of the Pacific forces, along with a plaque at the base of the flagpole.  In 1958 President Eisenhower approved the creation of a permanent memorial and with Congressional appropriations and private donations, it was completed in 1961.   The Memorial, designed by architect Alfred Preis, was dedicated in 1962 and receives over 4,000 visitors a day.

The Memorial, spanning the amidships portion of the sunken battleship, is 184 foot long and consists of three compartments, the entry room, the assembly room for ceremonies, and the marble wall engraved with the names of the crewmen of the U.S.S. Arizona.  Contemplating this tragedy serves as a reminder, not only of those who are gone, but also as a restoration of our innermost peace and patriotism.  The Memorial commemorates our strongest beliefs in freedom, unity, and the unwavering courage it takes to defeat our enemies.  The United States flag remains attached to the severed mainmast of the U.S.S. Arizona, a silent tribute to all military personnel who made the ultimate sacrifice in the Pearl Harbor attack.

If you’re planning a visit to Honolulu, Hawaii, the visitors’ center for the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial is open 7 days a week, 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years.  Admission is free, on a first-come first-served basis, and includes a brief talk by a Park Service Ranger or Pearl Harbor survivor, a 23-minute documentary, and a boat trip to the Memorial. A museum is located in the visitors center and remembrance exhibits are on display for those personnel who were not on the Arizona, but died on December 7, 1941. Film permits are available for $100 and should be requested at least four business days in advance.

Sharon L. Slayton

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