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Vacationing in Hawaii during the Pearl Harbor anniversary can be one of the most memorable experiences you’ll have. That’s because, each year, as the numbers of living Pearl Harbor survivors dwindle, the ceremonies, parades, and memorial events become even more special and significant.
This year marks the 74th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, which launched the United States into World War II. And, if you’re fortunate to be among those in Hawaii around December 7th (Pearl Harbor Day), you, too, can take part in memorializing those who lost their lives in the attack.
Here’s a look at some of the public events taking place on Oahu to commemorate Pearl Harbor Day (in order from soonest to latest):
1. International Plastic Modelers Society Pearl Harbor Model Display: The local chapter of International Plastic Modelers Society will have a free public display of ships, planes and vehicles related to those used during the attack on Oahu and Pearl Harbor. Expert modelers will share the history and techniques used to build these scale model masterpieces. Sunday, Dec. 6th, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, Education Building
2. Live Stream of the National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Commemoration: The World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument will air a live stream the National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Commemoration on Dec. 7th. The live stream includes three live events with 10 hours of educational and historical programming and begins at 7 a.m. Hawaii Standard Time (HST). This will include the live and interactive 74th anniversary commemoration, with park educators and volunteers standing by to answer your questions in a live chat; a live broadcast of the USS Missouri Ceremony; and a very special live broadcast from the USS Arizona Memorial as Pearl Harbor Survivor Joseph Langdell is interred back to the ship. For a complete listing of events, click here.
3. National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day: This year’s ceremony will feature Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David Kennedy as the keynote speaker. Those with base access and their sponsored guests may enter through Nimitz or Makalapa Gate and may park in general parking areas near Kilo Pier. The general public is required to park at Aloha Stadium with free ADA shuttle transportation to Kilo Pier from 6 a.m. to 7:15 a.m. with return shuttles to Aloha Stadium after the ceremony, from 10 a.m. to noon. Monday, Dec. 7th, 7:45 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. at the Kilo Pier, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
4. Pearl Harbor Memorial Anniversary Parade: The theme of the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade is “remembering our past and celebrating our future.” The purpose of the parade is to honor and pay respect to the Pearl Harbor survivors, our veterans, active duty military and their families. The parade takes place each year in Hawaii on the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack. Monday, Dec. 7th, 6 p.m. Starts at Magic Island and runs through Waikiki to Kapiolani Community College.
5. Hickam Field Remembrance Ceremony: The 15th Wing will host a remembrance ceremony at the Atterbury Circle historic flagpole on Hickam Field to honor the 189 killed and 303 wounded during the attacks. The ceremony is open to those with base access and their sponsored guests. Monday, Dec. 7th, 7:55 a.m. at the Atterbury Circle, Hickam Field, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam
6.USS Oklahoma Ceremony: This ceremony honors and commemorates the loss of the USS Oklahoma (BB-37) and 429 of her crew. The USS Oklahoma was moored along Battleship Row and was hit by as many as 8 to 12 torpedoes during the attack. Her portside was opened up by the salvo of torpedoes, and she capsized 12 minutes after the first torpedo hit. Public wishing to attend the ceremony may catch a free shuttle departing every 15 minutes from the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, which is adjacent to the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. Monday, Dec. 7th, 1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. at the USS Oklahoma Memorial on Ford Island
7.Live Dive Presentation: Join World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument’s Chief of Cultural Resources Scott Pawlowski underwater on the USS Arizona. They will answer questions live from the theater audience and Facebook. New shipboard locations previously not shown will also be featured. The goal is help you experience the wreck as it is today, illustrate life aboard the vessel in battle and peace, as well as understand the world-class science behind managing this hallowed ground for future generations. The theater will open at 3:45 p.m. The dive will start at 4 p.m. Visitors can watch the live broadcast in the visitor center theater (150 walk-in seats), or online via Adobe Connect.
Although the The USS Arizona Memorial will feature modified hours on Pearl Harbor Day, the park is still open to visitors on Pearl Harbor Day. So, be sure to connect with your agent at Hawaii Aloha Travel if you plan to spend the day on a Pearl Harbor Basic Tour and Pearl Harbor Home of the Brave Tour.
Being in Hawaii around Pearl Harbor Day is an opportunity to honor those who served during the attack 74 years ago. And, by participating in some, or all, of these events, your vacation is sure to be that much more memorable.