Pearl Harbour

“Yesterday, December 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”– President Franklin D

History was one of my favourite classes at school. Although I didn’t study World War Two at A Level- opting for 16th Century and the reformation of the church (and no I don’t know why). Pearl Harbour was such a significant part of 20th century history it had always interested me.


The bombings that took place here not only acted as a catalyst for the US to enter into war but, changed the face of warfare completely, to one fought in the air and not primarily at sea.

Japanese zero plane

From Waikiki there are several buses that go directly to Pearl Harbour (we took the No.20) this dropped us right outside. There are various tours that you can go on, to cover all of them you would need at least 6 hours (I think).

We picked up the narrated tour which you can follow into the Road to War and Attack Museums. There are also areas where you can listen to eye witness accounts of what happened and the aftermath from the survivors.

We went over by sea to the USS Arizona Memorial.

Unlike many of the other ships sunk or damaged at Pearl Harbour, Arizona exploded and sank. Killing 1,177 officers and crewmen. The ship could not be fully salvaged and lies entombed at the bottom of the Harbour.

USS Arizona remnants

The atmosphere is quiet and reflective. As you look down at the part of the visible wreckage you can see oil on the surface of the water. Some say that this is the “tears of the Arizona”.

tears of the Arizona

The list of the men who died on that day is extensive and covers the wall at the back of the memorial. The U.S Navy also allows survivors of the USS Arizona to be laid to rest beneath one of the gun turrets.

Names of the soldiers

flowers at USS Arizona

You can’t help but shed a few tears for all the lives lost as you make your way back to land, the boat docks outside the contemplation circle where you can sit and pay your respects.

Pearl Harbour is reflective, emotional and educational. Even if you had very little knowledge of what happened here, I think that it’s a must for anyone visiting this side of Oahu.

Tree of Life Memorial, designed by archtect Alfred Preis

Tree of Life Memorial, designed by archtect Alfred Preis

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