National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is observed annually in the United States on December 7, to remember and honor the 2,403 victims who were killed in the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
On August 23, 1994, United States Congress, designated December 7 of each year as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.
It is a tradition on this day to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff until sunset in honor of dead patriots.
My parents visited us when we lived in Hawaii and Pearl Harbor was their main interest so of course we scheduled a special tour for them.
We requested the COMPACFLT historic Remembrance Tour, a special service for military and dependents.
Children over 8 are allowed on the tour.
My dad proudly wore his USS Shangri-La hat. He served a tour in the US Navy in the 1960s and later retired from the US Army Reserve and DoD in the 1990s.
He was all choked up at the museum and memorials.
Almost every family vacation we ever had included military history!
Liz and my mom enjoyed the boat tour.
This lovely plaque meets visitors at the USS Arizona Memorial.
Several memorials have been built to remember the day and its events.
The USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor is a marble memorial over the sunken battleship USS Arizona, which was dedicated in 1962. The memorial remembers all military personnel who were killed in the Pearl Harbor attack.
Another memorial is that of the USS Utah, a battleship that was sunk in the attack. A memorial to honor the crew of the USS Utah was dedicated on the northwest shore of Ford Island, near the ship’s wreck, in 1972. The ship was added to the National Register of Historic Places and declared a National Historic Landmark in 1989.
Pearl Harbor & Arizona Memorial Hours:
Daily from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Things to Know Before You Visit:
Depending on the time of year, tickets can sell out months in advance. To avoid tickets selling out, you can book one of the Authorized Pearl Harbor Tours. They are permitted by the National Park Service to provide transportation and tours to the site.
Admission/Tickets to the USS Arizona Memorial are free. However, tickets reserved in advance are not free. When you purchase a tour, tickets are reserved in advance.
If you plan to visit Pearl Harbor on your own, you may purchase advance tickets online before they sell out. You may attempt to get walk-in tickets at the Pearl Harbor Visitor’s Center. Tickets are available on a first come, first serve basis. All members of your party must be present to receive a walk-in ticket. All of the walk-in tickets are often secured by visitors who arrive before 7:00 AM. The wait for walk-in tickets can be up to 7 hours.
Tickets for the Battleship Missouri Memorial, Pacific Aviation Museum, and the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park are available on Pearl Harbor Tours.
Tours are self-guided, and last 75 minutes (1 hour, 15 minutes). The movie is 25 minutes and the remaining 50 minutes is the round trip boat ride and time on the Arizona Memorial.
Tours provide additional free time to visit the Museums/Exhibits.
Food & Beverages
There are concession stands at the Visitor Center which sell snacks and beverages. There are also concession stands and gift stores at the nearby Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park.
While on the Arizona Memorial program (movie, boat, memorial), only bottled water is permitted. Food and drinks are permitted in the visitor center, but please remember to adhere to the no bags rule of the Pearl Harbor FAQs.
What to Wear
Hawaii is a warm and sunny place. We recommend wearing sunscreen and a hat to protect from the sun when you visit Pearl Harbor. It occasionally rains and visitors should pack rain jackets when visiting Hawaii. Check the weather before you visit Pearl Harbor to determine if it is necessary.
Be sure to wear comfortable shoes as you will be walking a great deal during your visit. Sandals are permitted. The Arizona Memorial is a place of honor. The men of the Arizona lay inside their ship. We encourage visitors to dress respectably. Bathing suits and other similarly revealing clothing, as well as profane T-shirts, are discouraged. Rangers have the authority to prohibit entry for inappropriate clothing.
All areas of the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center as well as the Navy shuttle boats, and the Arizona Memorial are wheelchair accessible.
Information about the COMPACFLT historic Remembrance Tour:
- The COMPACFLT historic Remembrance Tour is conducted every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The tour begins at 0845 (Tues, Weds, and Thurs) and 1300 (Weds and Thurs only). Guests must have prior reservation to take the tour. Proper ID is required. Complete the written request form.
- This two-hour tour is fully narrated and includes a visit to the boathouse museum and viewing of a 23-minute movie on the attack of Pearl Harbor. The boat tour follows with a tour around Ford Island and a stop at the Arizona Memorial.
- Reservations are accepted no more than 30 days in advance on a first-come, first-serve basis. Authorized personnel are active duty, reserve & retired military and DOD personnel. A waiting list is not maintained.
- Authorized personnel may sponsor up to four guests and must accompany his/her party. Exceptions are approved by the Protocol Officer for up to six guests. All other requests shall be submitted in writing using the REMEMBRANCE Request Form.
- Priority is given to Flag & General Officers and Medal of Honor recipients, which may sometimes result in bumping. Bumping privileges are suspended 48 hours prior to the start of the cruise.
- Spouses of Flag and General Officers (O7-O10) may escort their guests with valid ID card. Spouses of deceased military personnel may sponsor their guests.
- Attire for all active duty military personnel not in a leave status are at a minimum: *There are no exceptions.
- Navy: Summer White
- Marine Corps: Service “C”
- Army: Army Green
- Coast Guard: Tropical Blue
- Air Force: Service Uniform/Class “B”
Don’t miss viewing the Pearl Harbor Memorials if you visit Hawaii!
Learn more about Pearl Harbor History:
- Lapbook from Practical Pages
- PBS Lesson
- Scholastic Lesson
- The Homeschool Mom
- Notebooking Pages
- In the Hands of a Child
- Easy Fun School
- Eclectic Homeschool
- Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus