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History and Heritage

The Arizona - Hawaii's Ocean Front Property

Memorial draws more than 1.8 million visitors a year

The Seabees said it best when they sang "and we promise to remember, the 7th of December."

The morning of December 7, 1941 Japanese fighter planes, bombers and torpedo planes came in two waves over Pearl Harbor. In total, 2,403 Americans were killed and 1,178 others were wounded. All eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged, with four sunk. All but the Arizona were later raised, and six were returned to service and went on to fight in the war.

During and following the end of WWII, the Arizona's wrecked superstructure was removed and efforts began to erect a memorial at the remaining submerged hull and ultimately mark the resting place of more than one thousand Sailors and Marines Killed onboard.
USS Arizona photo collage

Photos taken by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Daniel Barker, Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Amber L. Porter and Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Johans Chavarro


The 184-foot long structure has two peaks at each end connected by a sag in the center of the structure. It represents the height of American pride before the war, the sudden depression of a nation after the attack, and the rise of American power to new heights after the war. Accessible only by boat, it straddles the sunken hull of the battleship without touching it.

"I was surprised just by how many people are here every single day, day in and day out," said Seaman Aaron Tierney, tour guide for the Arizona Memorial. "One of the things that I feel responsible for is conveying to them the seriousness of where they're going, and where they are at, because it is a solemn place. It's a burial ground."

The memorial contains an opening in the floor overlooking the sunken decks. It is from this opening that visitors come to pay their respects by tossing flowers in honor of the fallen Sailors.
A photo collage of the USS Arizona.

Photos taken by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Daniel Barker, Tech. Sgt. Michael Holzworth and Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sean Furey


The shrine at the far end is a marble wall that bears the names of all those killed on the Arizona, protected behind velvet ropes. To the left of the main wall is a small plaque which bears the names of crew members who survived the 1941 sinking. Any surviving crew members of the Arizona can elect to have their ashes interred within the wreck by U.S. Navy divers.

"If you take a moment to look around, especially inside the memorial itself, and see the names and look at the wreckage of the ship, it's just a moving thing - and it should be," said Tierney. "People shouldn't forget. It's something that people should experience to understand what happened here."

(Photos above taken by Photos taken by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Daniel Barker, Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Amber L. Porter and Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Johans Chavarro, Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sean Furey and Tech. Sgt. Michael Holzworth)
USS Arizona Survivor Donald Stratton Graphic

USS Arizona Survivor Donald Stratton Graphic