I am viewing the Arizona Memorial site in Pearl Harbor along with young eyes that are two generations removed from the events that happened here. It will be interesting for me to watch my young relatives as much as my surroundings and to get their view of this. My parents lived through World War II and I can recall reactions to things that were shaped by those memories. We are all products of the time we live in and some is good and some is bad.
While most of our days here were devoted to fun, I though this was also important to see. Once on the site we see this massive anchor.
The park like setting for all the things related to the events of the Arizona sinking is spacious and filled with a large variety of items and activities like many state parks. There is a submarine from that era that for a small additional fee you can tour along with a corresponding museum.
The tour of these two things helps fill the time until we are able to take the Arizona tour. As we enter the park and receive our tickets, this day it was a 2 hour wait. Tickets can be done on-line in advance, but we opted to take our chances. By the time we were touring at about mid day, all tour ticket for that day had been allocated so when you go keep this in mind. Some food may also be purchased on site, as well as a couple of shops with souvenirs.
We line up for our tour and enter a small (150 seats) auditorium for a short film. This is a black and white film that shows actual footage of that day in Pearl Harbor prior to going to the memorial. Then onto a ferry type vessel out to the location where the Arizona sank. The actual memorial is floating above the ship. Inside are the names of those who went down with the ship and new floral tributes each day. As you look out you see the top of the ship below you.
When the boat returns to take you back, you walk off the memorial with a new sense of the magnitude of those events. Since this is the final resting place of a large number of people you are reminded to be respectful. From the information I had, I found that during the summer season about 4,000 to 5,000 come here every day. Quite impressive.
This aerial photo puts it all in perspective.