Pearl Harbor is a very famous military base. It is located on the island of Oahu, in Hawaii. Pearl Harbor quickly rose in importance after the surprise Japanese attack on December 7, 1941. Because of its location, it became one of the most important military bases in the Pacific Ocean. Before the attack, the United States was not directly involved in World War II. One day after the attack, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared war on Japan. Because of an attack that lasted just over two hours, Pearl Harbor quickly changed from a training base, to being repaired, to preparing for war. Today, it is home to the USS Arizona Memorial, the Battleship Missouri, the Pacific Aviation Museum, and other must-see places. However, Pearl Harbor is more than just a reminder of the past. It is also a working Joint Naval and Air Force base.
Located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii is very important to the United States, even in peacetime. The eight islands together have 11 military bases, the most famous, of course, being Pearl Harbor. The biggest ships in the Navy are able to dock at the base. Those ships measure up to 610 feet in length and weigh as much as 15,000 tons. Pearl Harbor also hosts submarines that use the base’s dry docks for repairs and recovery—key services that help maintain the US fleet’s readiness.
In 2010, Pearl Harbor was combined with Hickam Air Force Base to create Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. With so many military members and others serving on the base, a large housing area is important. The base is home to over 18,000 service members. It serves 24,000 family members each year with schools, hospitals, stores, and recreational opportunities. The military makes sure to care for its service members and their families as they make sacrifices that safeguard freedoms for all Americans.
In addition to those living and working at Pearl Harbor, 2 million visitors come to see the famous memorials each year. Some come to pay their respects to relatives and other service members who died during the attack. Others come to find comfort for pain they themselves suffered.
Many visitors come to see the beautiful and moving USS Arizona Memorial, but it’s certainly not the only monument at Pearl Harbor. There’s the famous Battleship Missouri, where the Japanese signed the agreement that ended World War II. Near the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center is the Bowfin submarine, which came into service exactly one year after the attack and is now a museum. Pearl Harbor and the memorials there are part of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument. They are well worth a visit if you want to experience history where it was made.