Monday, May 16, 2011

USS Arizona Memorial

The USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center is open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
I highly recommend bringing the family on a weekday to avoid the crowds and find a  decent parking spot.

Following the events of September 11, 2001, new security regulations have been implemented. No purses, handbags, backpacks, camera bags, diaper bags, or other items that offer concealment are allowed in the visitor center or on the Memorial tour.

 Baggage storage is available for a small fee at the nearby USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and visitors are encouraged to use it.

Last time I visited the Arizona Memorial, I was in the Navy and the aircraft carrier I was stationed on pulled into the pier near the memorial in 2006. Today, I had the privilege and honor to take my 2 year old to visit this sacred memorial.

On the way to the USS Bowfin Submarine, we spotted 2 Polaris A-3 Ballistic missiles that the Navy used to launch from its submarines.

Here is a panorama view of the torpedoes used during the USS Bowfin's Era.

  Here is the USS Bowfin, a retired submarine that the family can tour for 10$, children 4-12 4$.

USS Bowfin (SS-287) is a fleet attack submarine that fought in the Pacific during WWII, and helped to make famous the term, “Silent Service.” Bowfin was launched on 7 December 1942, exactly one year to the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor. She was nicknamed the Pearl Harbor Avenger, so it is fitting that she is permanently home ported at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

 Fifty-two submarine memorials can be viewed at the Waterfront Memorial at Bowfin Park.

One could spend a day reading all the interesting facts and memorabilia on the memorial grounds alone, but there were 2 exhibits that I remembered being fascinated by that I wanted to take my little one to see.

This is a map carved out of marble that shows all tof he attacks on Oahu military targets in chronological order.

 This prayer that first lady Eleanor Roosevelt kept in her wallet really moved me. As we toured the monument I received a familiar feeling of  admiration and respect for the Americans that perished fighting in WWII.

At the appropriately named contemplation circle, one has a opportunity to gaze over toward the sunken Arizona Battleship and envision what it would have been like to watch the attack unfold.

 Off in the distance you can spot the USS Missouri Battleship next to the final resting place of the USS Arizona. The USS Missouri is where the Japanese signed the peace treaty that ended the war.

You can take the family to tour "Mighty Mo" by purchasing tickets near the USS Bowfin Submarine exhibit area. Transportation is provided to Ford Island where you can also check the Pacific Aviation Museum.

 Here was our experience at Battleship Missouri Memorial  and Pacific Aviation Museum.

Near the 2 exhibits there is a snack shop to pick up sandwiches and beverages. Since it was a beautiful day, we grabbed a sandwich, a can of Hawaiian Sun, and some of my daughters favorite ice cream to enjoy a picnic on the meticulously maintained grounds.

As we were enjoying our picnic in the park area, local birds came in to get a free meal.  In the video above,  a bird takes off with one of my potato chips. My daughter was very amused. More free entertainment for the whole family.

There are two main exhibits visitors can go into for free. One is the based on the events leading to the war , the other on the attack of Pearl Harbor itself.

Encased in this glass lies the  recovered torpedo that pierced the Arizona's forward hull and caused the ship to sink.

 Memorabilia to show the ships pride. Boxing was a popular past time for the Arizona's crew members.  On display visitors can view one of the robes worn during that era.


Here is a replica of the Japanese aircraft carrier that the zeros used as launch pad to initiate "the day in infamy."

in addition to the Submarine Tour, Exhibits, and giftshops, there is a ferry that takes visitors out to the site of the sunken Arizona Battleship. I had already seen it on my previous trip and I knew my daughter wasnt going to have the patience. I highly encourage that your family include that portion of the memorial to get the full experience. Its well worth the wait and your time.  

The address to the USS Arizona Memorial is Arizona Memorial Place, Honolulu - (808) 422-2771

For transportation and tours of Pearl Harbor click the photo above for more information.


  1. well done,john/ga.

  2. Great story AND good info. Great to show your daughter that history. BUT- there's almost always one of those- the JapNese signed SURRENDER papers on the Missouri, not Peace Treaty.