Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor 75th Commemoration

December 7, 1941 started out like any other sunny day in paradise, yet for the island residents of Oʻahu in Hawaiʻi—and the whole world for that matter—life as they knew it was about to come to an earth-shattering halt. The Japanese bombings of Pearl Harbor was the attack heard around the globe and a pivotal point in world history that President Franklin Roosevelt would famously describe as, “a date which will live in infamy.”

Tours & Tickets

The first thing we always say to visitors is to be sure to book a guided tour of Pearl Harbor. Tickets to the USS Arizona Memorial are free; however, there are only a limited number available per day. Every so often we receive an email from someone telling a very sad tale of not being able to see the USS Arizona Memorial, because they were not able to get a ticket. We do not want you to be that person. Booking a tour is the best way to secure your ticket to the USS Arizona Memorial. As a side note, there is a ticket package called the Passport to Pearl Harbor. The Passport to Pearl Harbor does NOT include admission to the USS Arizona Memorial but is a great option if you're skipping the guided tour and you've already secured your USS Arizona Memorial ticket and would like to see the paid attractions at Pearl Harbor. If you go the "free ticket" route, please arrive early. The Pearl Harbor Visitor Center opens at 7 a.m.

Sites to Visit

All tours start at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. This is where the parking lot is. From the Visitor Center, you can catch the shuttle boat to the USS Arizona Memorial (ticket required). Adjacent to the Visitor Center is the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park (paid). From here, you will need to take a shuttle over the bridge to Ford Island where you can visit the USS Battleship Missouri Memorial (paid), the USS Oklahoma Memorial (free) and the Pacific Aviation Museum (paid). The Pacific Aviation Museum is home to the Laniakea Cafe, where you can have lunch.

Other Places of Interest on Oahu

Other places of interest are the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (a resting place for veterans and their families in Honolulu), the US Army Museum of Hawaii (located in Waikiki) and the Honouliuli National Monument (not yet completed).

Survivor Stories

The bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 wasn't just an attack on Pearl Harbor - it was an attack on the island of Oahu, on the United States and on peace. Each year, we take time to remember and honor the valor and sacrifices of so many. The 75th commemoration in 2016 was particularly special. Hawaii.com was able to collect several stories of soldiers and civilians who lived on Oahu during that time.

Commemorative Works

In honor of the 75th commemoration of the bombings of Pearl Harbor, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser created an 88-page special edition with first person accounts, narratives and infographics outlining the day, the attack, what happened on battleship row and the aftermath. This special edition was then published, with additional material, as a hardcover book. Both are available while supplies last.

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