USS Arizona is the final resting place for many of the ship's 1,177
crewmen who lost their lives on December 7, 1941 in Pearl Harbor.
The 184-foot-long Memorial structure spanning the mid-portion of
the sunken battleship consists of three main sections: the entry
and assembly rooms; a central area designed for ceremonies and general
observation; and the shrine room, where the names of those killed
on the Arizona are engraved on the marble wall.
Arizona was the most heavily damaged of all the vessels in Battleship
Row, suffering three near-misses and four direct-hits from 800-kg
bombs dropped by high-altitude Kates. The last bomb to strike her
penetrated her deck starboard of turret two and detonated within
a 14-inch powder magazine. The resulting massive explosion broke
the ship in two forward of turret one, collapsed her forecastle
decks, and created such a cavity that her forward turrets and conning
tower fell thirty feet into her hull.
The USS Arizona Memorial grew out of wartime desire to establish
some sort of memorial at Pearl Harbor to honor those who died in
the attack. Suggestions for such a memorial began in 1943, but it
wasn't until 1949, when the Territory of Hawaii established the
Pacific War Memorial Commission, that the first real steps were
taken to bring it about. Initial recognition came in 1950 when Admiral
Arthur Radford, Commander in Chief, Pacific (CINCPAC), ordered that
a flagpole be erected over the sunken battleship. On the ninth anniversary
of the attack, a commemorative plaque was placed at the base of
the flagpole. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who helped achieve
Allied victory in Europe during World War II, approved the creation
of the Memorial in 1958. Its construction was completed in 1961
with public funds appropriated by Congress and private donations.
The Memorial was dedicated in 1962. According to its architect,
Alfred Preis, the design of the Memorial, "Wherein the structure
sags in the center but stands strong and vigorous at the ends, expresses
initial defeat and ultimate victory....The overall effect is one
of serenity. Overtones of sadness have been omitted to permit the
individual to contemplate his own personal responses...his innermost
Contrary to popular belief, the USS Arizona is no longer in commission.
As a special tribute to the ship and her lost crew, the United States
flag flies from the flagpole, which is attached to the severed mainmast
of the sunken battleship. The USS Arizona Memorial has come to commemorate
all military personnel killed in the Pearl Harbor attack.
1 Arizona Memorial Place
Honolulu, Hawaii 96818
General Information (808) 422-0561
Administration (808) 422-2771
FAX (808) 483-8608
Open Sunday through Saturday 7:30 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Interpretive
programs, including a documentary film about the attack and the
boat trip to the USS Arizona Memorial, begin at 8:00 A.M. (7:45
A.M. in summer). The last program each day begins at 3:00 P.M.
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day.
From the Honolulu/Waikiki area take either Ala Moana/Nimitz Highway
or H-1 freeway West. While on H-1 look for the USS Arizona/Stadium
exit, #15a. The USS Arizona Memorial is located on the shoreline
overlooking Pearl Harbor directly off of State Highway 99 (Kamehameha
Highway) about a 45-minute drive west of Waikiki.
For those without cars, several alternatives by bus are available:
Honolulu public transit buses stop regularly at the visitor center
and can be boarded in Waikiki. The #20 bus is the most direct line.
A commercial transportation company in Waikiki runs round-trip bus
service to the visitor center. Various commercial tour bus operators
include the USS Arizona Memorial on their sightseeing itineraries.
For information call (808) 422-0561.
The USS Arizona Memorial is free. There is no entrance fee or activity
fee. Free tickets for the program are issued on a first come, first-served
basis at the front desk in the visitor center.
CENTER Visitor Center/Exhibits
The USS Arizona Memorial museum is located in the visitor center
complex. There are also several wayside exhibits along the waterfront.
The Remembrance Exhibit displays the names of those
who died on December 7, 1941, that were not on the USS Arizona.
The interpretive program, for which visitors are given free tickets
at the visitor center, consists of a brief talk by a National Park
Service ranger or a Pearl Harbor Survivor, followed by a 23-minute
documentary film on the Pearl Harbor attack. Immediately after the
film, visitors depart the theater for the boat landing, where they
will board a Navy shuttle boat and begin their trip to the USS Arizona
Memorial. All visitors disembark on the Memorial and will return
to the visitor center a short time later on another shuttle boat.