What Should I Expect When I Visit Pearl Harbor?
The obvious answer, of course, is that you can expect a vast history lesson that walks you through the events of December 7th, 1941, although that’s a pretty broad overview of what awaits you at the naval base on Oahu. Below are some things to be aware of before you set off on your Pearl Harbor experience, in order to ensure you get the most out of the exhibits and memorials at Pearl Harbor. Some of these you may have thought of, others maybe not. Either way, it’s good to have a refresher.
You’ll Be Walking… A Lot
You should definitely dress respectfully to honor those who lost their lives in the attack on Pearl Harbor, but we also encourage comfort over style. There is a lot to see at Pearl Harbor, and the sites are spread over a large area, so you’ll want to wear the most comfortable shoes and clothing possible.
It’s Going to Be Sunny
Along with being comfortable, you also want to make sure to keep your skin safe. You’re going to spend a lot of your time at Pearl Harbor outside, so be sure to apply sunscreen before coming. It’s easy to lose track of how long you’ve been in the sun, and you don’t want to walk away with a nasty sunburn.
It’s a Very Difficult Topic
There is a lot of tragedy associated with Pearl Harbor as you’ll see with the Arizona and Oklahoma Memorials. In total, over 2,400 Americans died that day, and the weight of the loss is still felt today. In fact, many visitors describe a feeling of heaviness around Pearl Harbor because the tragedy still hangs in the air, so be prepared to be affected by it while you're there.
You’re going to come away with a lot of new information, but it's a somber experience.
You Could Be There All Day
There is a lot to see at Pearl Harbor, from the Arizona and Oklahoma Memorials to the mighty Battleship Missouri and the many displays within the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument Visitor Center. Scattered around the harbor, you’ll also find plaques with additional information. The USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park is a fascinating experience that gives an incredible look into the world of submarines, while the Pacific Aviation Museum dedicates itself to the history of aerial combat.
It’s easy to lose yourself among all there is to see and do, so expect your day to breeze by.
Younger Guests are Encouraged
The attack on Pearl Harbor is an important piece of American history. It propelled the United States into the war that molded it into the global power it is today. It’s a rich educational experience for kids to see firsthand what caused the nation to abandon its policy of isolationism and take part in World War II. You may worry that it’s a little too much for them, but you’d be surprised how they become engrossed by the exhibits and memorials.