Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
Each and every year on December 7th, the most visited site in Hawaii welcomes military personnel, state leaders, and survivors of the tragic attacks that struck Pearl Harbor in the early morning hour’s way back in 1941. Beginning at approximately 7am, tributes to fallen heroes, memorials, and powerful speeches begin, taking guests and visitors back to those early hours nearly 80 years ago, when the island of Oahu was awoken and the world was forever changed.
Today, Pearl Harbor stands as symbol of those attacks, honoring the brave sailors who bravely fought off the surprise attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service. That morning, with the sun still rising, 2,403 Americans were killed, many of their bodies never recovered, and many battleships were sunk in what would be the events that thrust the United States into World War II.
During the attacks, the 8 battleships stationed at Pearl Harbor were either sunk or badly damaged, with 7 being raised and 6 eventually returning to action. Only the USS Arizona Memorial was too damaged to be raised, and the battleship remains at the bottom of the harbor today. The ship now stands as a symbol of the attacks and allows visitors to the harbor to honor the fallen heroes and remember the tragic attacks. To this day, there are 1,177 sailors forever entombed in the wreckage of the ship, and many more survivors who have chosen to have their remains returned to the ship following their death.
The events of Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day are open to the public, and though there is no boarding of the USS Arizona Memorial, and the museums found around the Visitors Center and at Ford Island are closed for the day, there is still much to see and do each year on December 7th. It is an honor to be able to attend the ceremonies, and though there are very few survivors remaining, they continue to visit Pearl Harbor, shaking hands, taking photos, and sharing their stories with visitors. Those of the Greatest Generation are important figures in United States and World History, and the chance to meet them and hear their stories is an incredible part of a visit to Pearl Harbor.
Make Pearl Harbor a part of your trip to Hawaii and if you are able to celebrate the events of Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day and honor the heroes of December 7, 1941, it is highly recommended.
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