The USS Arizona Memorial stands as a solemn tribute to the lives lost during the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Visiting this iconic memorial is not just a history lesson; it’s a profound and emotional experience that allows visitors to pay their respects to the brave men who sacrificed everything for their country. The central focus of the visitor center is the USS Arizona Memorial, a structure that spans the sunken battleship below.

Boats depart regularly from the Pearl Harbor visitor center, transporting visitors to the memorial, providing an up-close view of the sunken ship, and offering a moment for reflection. After exploring the exhibits and attractions at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, the next significant destination is the USS Arizona Memorial. Here’s what you can expect as you make your way to this iconic memorial:

1. The Setting:

– Located in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the memorial is built directly above the sunken remains of the USS Arizona battleship.
– The serene and picturesque setting contrasts with the tragic history, providing visitors with a reflective and contemplative atmosphere.

2. Boat Ride to the Memorial:

– Accessible only by boat, the journey to the memorial offers stunning views of Pearl Harbor and the surrounding landscape.
– The short boat ride builds anticipation and sets the tone for the somber experience that awaits.
– Visitors board a Navy-operated shuttle boat for a short and poignant journey to the USS Arizona Memorial.

3. The USS Arizona Remains:

– The focal point of the memorial is the sunken USS Arizona, still visible beneath the water’s surface.
– Visitors can observe the rusting structure and the “black tears” of oil that continue to seep from the ship, creating a poignant reminder of the lives lost.

4. Wall of Remembrance:

– Inside the memorial, a Wall of Remembrance displays the names of the 1,177 servicemen who perished during the attack on the USS Arizona.
– The wall serves as a powerful testament to the individuals who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

5. Documentary and Interpretive Center:

– Before boarding the boat, visitors have the opportunity to watch a documentary that provides historical context and personal accounts of the events on December 7, 1941.
– The Interpretive Center further enhances the experience, featuring exhibits and artifacts that delve into the details of the attack and the aftermath.

6. Remembrance Ceremonies:

– Throughout the year, special ceremonies and events are held to honor the memory of those who lost their lives on the USS Arizona.
– These ceremonies often include survivors, veterans, and their families, fostering a sense of community and remembrance.

7. Educational Programs:

– The memorial offers educational programs for schools and groups, providing an opportunity for students to learn about this pivotal moment in history.
– Knowledgeable park rangers are available to share insights and answer questions, enriching the overall visitor experience.


A visit to the USS Arizona Memorial is a powerful and emotional journey through history. It serves as a reminder of the courage and sacrifice displayed by the men and women who defended their country on that fateful day. By preserving the memory of the USS Arizona, we ensure that the legacy of those who served and perished lives on, inspiring future generations to appreciate the cost of freedom.