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O'ahu - Honolulu - Pearl Harbor: USS Arizona Memorial

The USS Arizona Memorial marks the resting place of 1,102 of the 1,177 sailors killed on the USS Arizona during the Attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 by Japanese imperial forces and commemorates the events of that day. The memorial, dedicated on May 30, 1962, and visited by more than one million people annually, is only accessible via U.S. Navy boat boarded from the USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center, which offers historical information about the attack as well as general visitor services.


The memorial was designed by architect Alfred Preis, who had been detained at Sand Island at the start of the war as an enemy of the country because of his Austrian birth. The 184-foot-long floating memorial spans the mid-portion of the sunken battleship. It has two peaks at each end, connected by a sag in the center--representing the height of American pride before the war, the depth the nation fell to after the attack, and then the ultimate victory. The central room features seven large open windows on either wall and ceiling, to commemorate the day of the attack. The total number of windows is 21, which, although not confirmed by the architect, some believe represents a 21-gun salute. An opening in the center of the floor overlooks the sunken decks of the Arizona. A shrine at the far end consists of a marble wall that bears the names of all entombed on the USS Arizona. Sometimes referred to as "black tears of the Arizona", oil can still be spotted seeping from the wreckage.


The surprise military strike on Pearl Harbor by the Imperial Japanese Navy,designed by admiral Isoroku Yamamamoto, was a culmination of a decade of deteriorating relationships. The pre-emptive measure intended to prevent the U.S. Pacific Fleet from interfering in Japan's grand strategy of conquest in the Western Pacific. Instead, it provoked the previously isolationist United States into full participation in World War II. The base was attacked in two waves by 353 Japanese aircraft, launched from six aircraft carriers. Four U.S. Navy battleships were sunk, and another four were damaged. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship, one minelayer, and 188 U.S. aircraft. In total, 2,402 personnel were killed and 1,282 were wounded. Japanese loses were light with 29 aircraft and five midget submarines lost, and 65 servicemen killed or wounded.


The World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, a United States national monument spanning 9 sites in 3 states, honors several aspects of the American engagement in World War II. Six of the sites are located in Hawaii--the USS Arizona Memorial and Visitors Center, the USS Utah Memorial, the USS Oklahoma Memorial, Six Chief Petty Officer Bungalows on Ford Island, and the Mooring Quays F6, F7, and F8, which formed part of Battleship Row. The monument was created on December 5, 2008, through an executive order issued by President George W. Bush under the authority of the Antiquities Act of 1906.


USS Arizona Memorial National Register #66000944 (1966)

Pearl Harbor, U.S. Naval Base National Historic District National Register #66000940 (1966)

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Taken on May 26, 2010