Veterans Day at Pearl Harbor


By: Mark Loproto

Every year on November 11th, the United States comes together to honor the men and women who served in the nation’s various branches of the military. Young and old are thanked for their service to the nation—including those still living from the Second World War—are recognized on this annual holiday. For Veterans Day, you may be looking for a way to pay your respects to the troops of the United States, and if you happen to find yourself on Oahu, you’re likely no more than an hour away from the best place to do so. Here’s your guide to spending Veterans Day at Pearl Harbor.

Located on the island’s southern shore, Pearl Harbor was the site of a surprise Japanese attack on December 7, 1941. This event, which left thousands dead, launched the United States into war and created a generation of heroes who spent the rest of their lives keeping the memory of the attack alive. On this Veterans Day, it  seems fitting to honor these brave men and women by visiting Pearl Harbor.

While it is a federal holiday, the Pearl Harbor is open on Veterans Day. Considering the point of the holiday and the reason for the national memorial, it makes sense that it would remain open. Every November 11, throngs of guests come to pay their respects to the lives lost during the assault.

A site like Pearl Harbor is doubly important on a day like Veterans Day, as it symbolizes the strength and resolve of the United States military. The US Army, Navy, Army Air Force, and Marines came together to defend their nation during and after the surprise attack.

If you’re planning to visit Pearl Harbor on Veterans Day, there are a few sites that we highly recommend including on your itinerary.

USS Arizona Memorial

USS Arizona Memorial

USS Arizona Memorial

Dedicated to the 1,177 crewmen of the battleship USS Arizona (BB-39), the memorial was constructed over the wreckage of the sunken vessel, still resting at the bottom of the harbor. The USS Arizona Memorial provides an opportunity to honor the men who died when their ship exploded and sank.

USS Oklahoma Memorial

USS Oklahoma Memorial

USS Oklahoma Memorial

A series of 429 stark white pillars, the USS Oklahoma Memorial was built in honor of the 429 men who died aboard the battleship USS Oklahoma (BB-37).

Pearl Harbor National Memorial Remembrance Circle

Remembrance Circle at Pearl Harbor National Memorial

Remembrance Circle at Pearl Harbor National Memorial

Located just outside the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, the Remembrance Circle is exactly as it sounds. The circular memorial lists the names of all who died on the morning of December 7, 1941. At the center is a map of Oahu indicating all of the spots the aerial attackers of the Imperial Japanese Navy targeted.

Veterans Day at Pearl Harbor

If a visit to Pearl Harbor on Veterans Day is on your schedule, we highly recommend booking an official tour. It’s the only guaranteed way you’ll be able to see everything you want, including the USS Arizona Memorial program. Without a tour, you’ll have to scramble to secure one of the 1,300 tickets handed out daily. That means arriving early and still having no guarantee.

Depending on which tour you choose, you can visit sites like the Battleship Missouri, USS Oklahoma Memorial, Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum, and the USS Bowfin Submarine and Park.

Don’t take a chance with your visit to Pearl Harbor, especially on a day as significant as Veterans Day. Choose from a wide selection of tour options, from a brief, half-day excursion to one that visits every site at Pearl Harbor.

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