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Once off the submarine, we visited a few other spots that are also part of the USS Bowfin submarine museum and park, then headed off to our 8:30 timeslot for the visit to the USS Arizona memorial. As we glided across one of Pearl Harbour's lochs towards the memorial, we got to pass beneath the hulking mass of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier John C. Stennis, which just happened to be in port at Pearl Harbour during the time of our visit.
Sighting the Stennis
Arizona Memorial and Mighty Mo
Crossroads of the Pacific
The visit to the memorial - which is free of charge - starts off with a short movie in a darkened cinema building. The movie gives context and background, and talks in detail about the day of the attack - December 7, 1941 - when a large fleet of Japanese attack planes bombed Pearl Harbour, causing great destruction and loss of life. One of the worst casualties of that attack was the USS Arizona and much of her crew - over 1,100 of them, in fact. As a memorial to the loss of life, the wreck of the Arizona remained sunk, and with no effort made to remove the fallen from the ship. The ship itself became both cemetery and memorial to those who died. Many years later, the park service created a memorial structure which arches over the sunken remains of the ship. It is this structure which allows visitors to visit the site.

After watching the short movie, we were loaded onto a reasonably large, canopied boat and ferried across the waters of Pearl Harbour to the memorial. The memorial is architected in the form of a bright white bridge that is depressed in the middle. It spans over the wreck of the Arizona, and does not physically touch it. We floated up to a small dock near the memorial, and filed off the boat and into it.
Heading to the memorial
USS John C. Stennis
Bow of the Stennis
The USS Arizona was a somber place, as you might expect. It has a somewhat church-like air at its entrance and in the shrine at the opposite end. In the middle, however, is a very bright and airy open viewing area known as the Assembly Room. From here we could look out over the waters of the harbour. Just a few feet below the surface we could see the rusted shapes and outlines of the USS Arizona. A few prominent structures stuck out of the water, including the very prominent circle of the base of one of the gun turrets.
courtesy BConnell
The Mighty Mo
The USS Arizona Memorial
Flag above Assembly Room
Memorial construction plaque
Gun Turret #3
The Viewing Well
We made our way slowly to the back of the memorial, where we visited the shrine and the "Viewing Well", where a visitor was carefully dropping the flowers off of a lei into the waters below.

Off the southern side of the memorial, it was interesting to watch (and to smell) small blobs of oil still welling up from the wreckage beneath. These blobs of oil are sometimes referred to as "The Tears of the Arizona".
USS Arizona Memorial Shrine
Mooring bitts
Tears of the Arizona
Gun Turret #3
Assembly Room
Memorial Flagstaff and Plaque
courtesy JInnes
Memorial Schematic
Gallery viewing
Completing our visit.
Soon the period of time given for our visitation was over, and we were all required to step back aboard the shuttle boat for the ride back to the visitor center. There are two shuttles running continuously all day, and as we departed, we could see the next shuttle already preparing to arrive at the memorial.
courtesy BConnell
A final look at the memorial
USS John C. Stennis
A couple of Greyhounds
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[ Return to "A Hawaiian Kaleidoscope" Home page | Introduction | Mildly complicated journey | Visit to Pearl Harbour | Downtown Honolulu | Kaua'i - The Garden Isle | Na Pali / Kalalau 1 | Na Pali / Kalalau 2 | Waimea Canyon & Kalepa Ridge | Maui - The Valley Isle | Exploring Kaupo | Haleakala Sea-to-summit 1 | Haleakala Sea-to-summit 2 | Haleakala Sea-to-summit 3 | Haleakala bike descent | Maui beach & snorkel | Flight to Big Island | Hawai'i Volcanoes NP | Mauna Loa Backpack Prep | Mauna Loa Climb | Mauna Loa Descent | Paniolo Greens | Hapuna Beach Park | Pu'ukohola Hieau | Sunset at Hapuna Beach | Ph'uhonua o Honaunau | Farewell to Hawaii | Supplemental: Kalalau Trail | Supplemental: Kalepa Ridge Trail | Supplemental: Kaupo Trail | Supplemental: Paliku to Haleakala Summit | Supplemental: Mauna Loa via Observatory Trail | Supplemental: USS Bowfin and Missouri | Hapuna Beach Sunset | Hawai'i Flora and Fauna | The Blue Pilot | Video Clip Index | GPS Data ]

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