Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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The Arizona Memorial Without All the Tourists

Yesterday was the 79th anniversary of the surprise bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. Today, December 8th marks the anniversary of the formal announcement of the United States entering World War 2.

Hawaii had been closed to tourists for months during the pandemic. In October, I took the opportunity to visit the USS Arizona Memorial before Hawaii reopened transpacific travel once again. It was a rare opportunity to visit the Arizona in an almost solitude state, without hordes of tourists, packed like sardines on the shuttle boat, or shoulder to shoulder aboard the memorial. It was a moving experience.

The peaceful tranquility I encountered was befitting for the 1,102 fallen sailors who rest with their ship down below. It was almost like stepping into a church, as I forgot how much of a tourist attraction Pearl Harbor usually is during pre-pandemic times. It was a surreal experience to be able to pay my respects in an almost zen-like atmosphere.

Watch this video to see what the Arizona Memorial looks like during a global pandemic.

From the dropping of the first bomb, a sleeping giant awoke. The Greatest Generation was born. A new era in Hawaiian history began. And the children of immigrants took it upon themselves to “go for broke”, and show the world what they can do.

May we always remember the sacrifice of our brave servicemen. May we never forget what they fought to protect.

Note that since recording this video, Hawaii had reopened to travelers. Visitors from around the world have slowly begun to return to Hawaii. If you have the chance to visit Pearl Harbor and the Arizona Memorial, I highly recommend you do now while our visitor count is still relatively low.

Visitor Information
Free to enter the Pearl Harbor National Memorial site.
Pearl Harbor National Memorial is open daily from 7am to 5pm.
Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Years Day.
USS Arizona Program to run every 30 minutes from 8am – 3pm.
Tours limited to 50 people per shuttle to facilitate social distancing.
Making reservations are recommended prior to arrival ($1 processing fee).

Health guidelines are posted at Pearl Harbor and on their website. Social distancing and mask requirements are all in effect for everyone’s safety. For full details visit the National Park Service website for Pearl Harbor.

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