"Visit Pearl Harbour and the USS Arizona Memorial" Pearl Harbor Tip by sjvessey

Pearl Harbor, Honolulu: 81 reviews and 103 photos

  USS Arizona gun turret
by sjvessey

As a non-US citizen, this place doesn't quite have the significance for me that it seems to for Americans, but it's still an interesting excursion. Take a quick look around the museum on the mainland which gives some history of the ship, then watch a 30 minute film in the auditorium, before being transported by the Navy to the memorial itself in a group. You'll get 15-20 minutes on the memorial before your group is asked to make room for the next.

Built directly over the wreck of the USS Arizona, which was sunk when an armour-piercing bomb hit its main magazine, causing a catastrophic explosion, you can still see some of the ship itself through the water. The photo here shows what's left of one of the main gun turrets.

The only thing which left me slightly uneasy about the whole experience was the way the Pearl Harbour deaths are taken out of proportion, in the context of the war as a whole. Tragic it may have been, but at the end of the day, less than 2,000 people lost their lives, most of them military personnel. 55 million died altogether during the war, and in particular, references to the US bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the documentary were fleeting at best. I had hoped that 60 years on, something like this would have been turned into a memorial for everyone.

Address: Arizona Memorial; Battleship Missouri; Bowfin
Directions: Pearl Harbour
Phone: 808-422-3300
Website: http://www.nps.gov/valr/index.htm

Review Helpfulness: 1.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Mar 25, 2003
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