Visit the USS Arizona Memorial at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial and learn more about one of the most pivotal moments in United States history.
“Yesterday, December 7, 1941-a date which will live in infamy-the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by the naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”
FDR’s famous words and the Pearl Harbor attack will live in infamy.
About the USS Arizona
The USS Arizona Memorial, at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, marks the resting place of 1,102 crew members killed on the USS Arizona and commemorates the events of that day.
In addition, the National Park Service offers daily tours of the USS Arizona Memorial. The tours start every 15 minutes, beginning at 7:30 a.m. through 3:00 p.m. The 45-minute tours include a movie in the Pearl Harbor Memorial Theater, followed by a Navy-operated boat ride to the USS Arizona Memorial.
USS Arizona Quick Tips
General admission to the memorial is free, year-round, but tickets are required. The memorial encourages attendees to go online and reserve tickets. The memorial releases 13,000 tickets each day to the public on a first-come-first-serve basis at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center information desk.
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Pro Tip: The memorial allows strollers in the visitor center but not in the theater or memorial.
Most importantly, the USS Arizona Memorial marks a final resting place for hundreds and a space for remembrance and reflection for millions more. Memorial staffers ask guests to dress and act appropriately. No food or drinks are allowed in the theater, boat, or memorial, but a snack shop at the visitor center offers sandwiches and beverages.
There are no public restrooms on the USS Arizona Memorial. The Memorial prohibits bags at the visitor center, though clear, see-through bags with medication and medical devices are allowed. Cameras and cell phones are also allowed.
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Pro Tip: There are several restaurants in the visitor center area. The Pacific Fleet Submarine Museum and the Battleship Missouri Memorial have food trucks, and the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum has a restaurant.
USS Arizona History
The Memorial was the second and last of the U.S. Navy’s Pennsylvania class of battleships built in the mid-1910s. The ship, named for the induction of the 48th state to the union, remained stateside during World War I, monitoring the eastern coastline.
The U.S. military used the ship for training exercises between wars. Then in 1940, the government transferred the ship and the rest of the Pacific Fleet from California to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. On December 7, 1941, Japanese torpedo bombers hit the USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor. The ship violently sank, resulting in the loss of 1,177 officers and crew members. The Navy removed parts of the ship for reuse even though the bombing irreparably damaged the ship. The wreck still lies at the bottom of Pearl Harbor beneath the Memorial.
Interesting Fact: Elvis Presley performed a benefit concert at Pearl Harbor’s Block Arena and raised over $50,000 to fund part of the memorial at the USS Arizona site.
In 1949 the Pacific War Memorial Commission paid permanent tribute to those who lost their lives in the attack. In 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation to create the national memorial.
More than half of the casualties at Pearl Harbor occurred on the naval battleship USS Arizona. Only 335 people survived the attack; 1,102 men remain entombed in the USS Arizona and are considered buried at sea. Twenty-three sets of brothers died on the USS Arizona, and one set of brothers survived the attack. USS Arizona was one of eight battleships lost or damaged in the attack.
USS Arizona had a full load of fuel (1.5 million gallons), in preparation to sail to the mainland. For nearly 70 years, fuel continues to leak from the Memorial's wreckage. More than 30 former Arizona crew members chose the USS Arizona Memorial as the spot of their final resting place, asking their ashes be scattered above the wreckage.
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There are three free parking lots at the visitor center, but they fill up quickly, so arrive early.