I have been to the Arizona Memorial several times and every time it still strikes your heart. When you first arrive at the memorial you can pick up your free tickets to view it then you are welcome to explore until your starting time. There are many different things to look at but my favorite is the submarine circle which is a collection of all the ships that have gone down. There is also the Bowfin submarine that you can pay a little money to tour but I personally have been on a submarine many times so I’ve never been too interested.
Once it’s your viewing time you enter into a small theater and view a small film about Pearl Harbor. This video is what really sets the tone for the remainder of the viewing. It goes over how we came to be a part of the war and the Japanese strategic planning that struck us so abruptly.
From there you load up on a ferry type boat and ride over to the actual Arizona Memorial. When you first walk onto the memorial you don’t really realize how big the ship is but especially how much oil is still floating in the water from the ship. It’s a very strong reality about what happened and the 2,042 souls that lie entombed below you. When you walk to the furthest end of the memorial you view the wall of names of all the brave men and women who lost their lives during the attack. It is something so eye opening that its hard to explain. You know that all of these men and women lost their lives but seeing how many names are on that wall is a whole different experience.
The memorial is something I believe you will never forget. Even after you’ve left it, the feeling holds tight to you. So on this day, Memorial Day, please remember those who are no longer with their families and those who will be laying next to the grave of their loved ones missing them.