No one can create a memorial like the Americans can. A place where they can commemorate the men and women that gave their life for their country. I have visited memorials before in a few other places in the world, but none of them have been able to touch me like the ones I have visited on US soil. Patriotism and the marketing machine at its best.
From the moment you arrive you are taken by the hand and lead step by step through the events that took place before, during and after the catastrophe that hit here. No history book or movie will leave more of an impression than visiting the Pearl Harbor memorial site in person!
Parking and entrance to the memorial are free. The narrated tour costs $7.50 but it’s totally worth it. None other than famous actress Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween, A Fish Called Wanda, True Lies) navigates you through the two large museums located on the grounds. Here you will find every fascinating detail about that surprise attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese so many years ago that got the US involved in World War II.
Especially the taped stories told by the survivors are very touching. There was one in particular about a diver who was talking about the time he was telling his story at a public event somewhere when a man in the audience stood up and thanked him for saving his life, that left me lost for words. Instead, tears started running down my face so much so that I had to step out of the museum for a few minutes.
The actual memorial floats over the hull of the USS Arizona and is equally impressive. Inside the shrine you will find all the names of the people that lost their lives in Pearl Harbor on that crucial day. Looking through the openings of the memorial you can see part of the ship through the water and some oil still leaking out. It’s referred to as “Tears of the Arizona” or “Black Tears”.
Pearl Harbor is definitely a part of Hawaii everybody should visit at least once.
Lest we never forget……..