A significant component of the American history, the Pearl Harbor is an inlet harbor situated on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, near the center of Pacific Ocean. It’s importance dramatically ascended after the surprise Japanese attack on 7th of December, 1941, during the World War II. Due to its exclusive location, it now serves as a United States Navy deep-water naval base, an imperative military base. It also resides the USS Arizona Memorial, the Battleship Missouri, and the Pacific Aviation Museum.
History: Japanese Blitz on Pearl Harbor:
Pearl Harbor’s history is cram-full of intriguing facts and interesting events which arouses the curiosity of many history buffs all around the globe. Initially, the Hawaiian’s used to call Pearl Harbor by the name of “Wai Momi”- waters of pearl- referring to the abundance of pearl oysters that once inhabited there. The history molded in the following years. The most recalled event in the history of Pearl Harbor is the “Surprise Japanese Attack” during World War II. The attack took place on December 7, 1941, and is also regarded as the immediate cause of pushing the United States in the World War II. The attack was made by the kingdom of Japan, their fighter planes intruded the base in the morning, sinking about 20 naval vessels and battleships (including USS Arizona, USS Oklahoma, USS California, USS West Virginia, USS Utah, USS Maryland, USS Pennsylvania, USS Tennessee and USS Nevada) demolishing more than 300 planes, killing about 2400 people which included sailors, soldiers, and civilians, and wounding about 1000 more people.
The Pearl Harbor is the most important active military base among the eleven military bases based on these eight islands. Its importance can be gauged by the fact that it can easily anchor the largest navy ships, mostly measuring up to 610 feet and weighing about 15,000 tons, and also hosts submarines. Pearl Harbor is renowned for hosting and providing services to about 24,000 family members of 18,000 service members, providing them with the facilities of schools, hospitals, homes, departmental stores, and recreational sites. The military ensures the comfort of its servicemen and their families as a reward to their sacrifices to the Americans.
Tourism/Charms of Pearl Harbor:
Apart from its historical and military importance, Pearl Harbor is also known for its famed memorials, which were sculpted to express gratitude and respect to the service members and relatives who died in the aerial bombing by the Empire of Japan, which attracts crowds from all around the world. The service members who fought the war, whose lives as well as their future generations were affected, people come from distant places to honor the brave people who sacrificed their lives in the war for the cause of the Americans. These must-visit destinations incorporate:
U.S.S Arizona Memorial- WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument:
Drafted by Alfred Preiss, a Honolulu architect, U.S.S Arizona Memorial was constructed in 1962, with the aim of honoring the crew and service members of the U.S.S Arizona Memorial Battleship This monument is also regarded as the resting place for 1,102 of 1,177 sailors and marine who died on 7th December 1941. It preserves and narrates the stories of the Pacific War. The memorial stands where the original battleship was sunken and is only accessible by boat. This 184-foot long facility compromises of three main parts namely, entry, assembly room, and the shrine. It was designed in such a marvelous way that most of its features symbolize the event of that day. The two peaks on either side of the monument and the sag in between them symbolizes the American pride before the war, their decline, and rise to greater power after the war. The seven large windows in the assembly room recall the date of the surprise attack by the Japanese. The entry overlooks the sunken battleship and from here people honor the fallen by throwing flowers in the water. One of the three anchors of the ship and one of its two bells lay in the visitors’ center as displays. On the shrine, which is at the end of the monument, are the names of the fallen protected behind velvet ropes. A small plaque, on which the names of the surviving crew members are carved is also installed on the side of the shrine. Annually, it attracts over 2 million visitors.
Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum:
Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum was found in 1999. Its doors were opened to the public on 7th December in the year 2006. It features a diversity of aviation exhibits, mostly the ones which relates to the Pearl Harbor Attack. The museum now serves as a preservation center for the Historic Landmarks as well as hosts educational tours in Hawaii. Hangar 37 of the museum, a 7.25 acres facility compromises of a movie theater, flight simulators, a store, and a restaurant, and 9 exhibits which includes an actual Japanese Zero and a Stearman N2S-3 once piloted by the former American president George H. W. Bush. Hangar 79 (80,000 square foot facility), consists of the latest additions to the museum which includes a collection of aircraft, incorporating a Soviet Designed MiG-15 and MiG Alley Exhibit, a Cobra attacked helicopter, Flying Tigers Exhibits, an F-14 Tomcat, F-15 Eagle, P-40 Warhawk, and many more. The museum welcomes every kind of visitor, whether old or young, as no one can resist to sit inside a real cockpit and enjoy interactive simulators. This Aviation Museum is one of the most renowned aviation museums with most of the WW II-era planes and attracts millions of visitors per year.
Battleship Missouri Memorial:
Regarded as the third ship of the United States Navy to be named after the state of Missouri, Battleship Missouri is an Iowa-class battleship. It was the last battleship ever built by the American government and is best recalled as the site where the Empire of Japan relinquished and ceased fire, marking a full stop ahead of the World War II. The “Mighty Mo” is famed for its illustrious 50-year career span, appearing in three wars, and spanning three generations of American fighting men and women. Weighing over 58,000 tons, this gigantic battleship stands as a silent guard over the Pearl Harbor. While you step in this peaceful giant, you’ll ultimately enter the World War II-era as you’ll be able to chase the footsteps of the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, General Douglas MacArthur. As you advance towards the deck, you’ll be able to observe and view the 16-inch, 50 caliber guns. And finally, the most surprising and interesting feature, the Bridge of Missouri, from where you can enjoy a prospect from the Captain’s chair.
USS Bowfin Submarine and Museum- The Real “First Avenger”:
A Balao-class submarine, USS Bowfin was a boat of United States Navy named after the bowfin fish. It has been opened to public tours since 1981 and is displayed at “USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park in Hawaii. These two and a half acre facilities compromises of exhibits such as the USS Bowfin submarine, Pacific Fleet Submarine Museum, the Waterfront Memorial, detailed models, weapon systems, photographs, paintings, battle flags, recruiting posters, and many other outdoor exhibits which were created to enlighten the memory and honor the submarine crews who have sacrificed their live or still continue to serve for their nation. Currently, the park is operated by Pacific Fleet Submarine Memorial Association. Their main objective is to restore and maintain the USS Bowfin Submarine as a memorial to the 52 American submarines and approximately 3,500 submariners and crew members who laid down their lives during World War II. Sitting on the glamorous shoreline of the historic Pearl Harbor, this Museum today attracts millions of visitors each year and inspires them by revealing intriguing tales of men who served in the World War II under bitter conditions and yet remained steadfast and helped in winning the War in the Pacific.
Federal Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific and the Honolulu Monument:
Situated in the Punchbowl Crater in Honolulu, Hawaii, National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific are a national cemetery and a memorial which was sculpted to honor the brave fighting American mortals to the United States Armed Forces and to those who have sacrificed their lives with the same objective in their minds, patriotism. It is regarded as one of the most visited tourist destinations in Hawaii. In the year 1949, this cemetery was officially dedicated to the almost 53,000 First Great War, Second World War, the Korean War, the Second Indochina War veterans and their dependents. The “American Battle Monuments Commission”, in 1964, installed the Honolulu Memorial. The Monument was first devoted to the abdication, bravery, and the accomplishments of the American Military in the Pacific and in the Korean War but, in 1980, was expanded to add in the Vietnam War. The marble slabs of this monument bear the names of approximately 30,000 the United States Armed Forces who either died in action or were lost in the high tides of the Pacific.