December 7th, 1941 was a devastating day in American history, sucking the entire country into a war that was otherwise fought on foreign soil. Being a landmark day, you should stop and ask yourself: “Do I know everything I should?” Chances are, you can pinpoint it as the day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, but what of the heroes that gave their lives protecting what lay beyond the harbor? What of the mighty vessels that stood as a wall between the enemy and the mainland?
If you’re finding yourself with a need to know more about the bombing of Pearl Harbor, there are three tours that will leave you feeling like you were there.
Pearl Harbor Visitor Center Tours
The basic but all-encompassing focuses on every aspect of the attack. A brief video will transport you back to that historic day before you are set loose on a tour of various artifacts and placards that further suck you in to the harbor’s darker history. You will hear from locals connected to the attack, who give incredible details about the servicemen that fought bravely to protect the harbor.
Throughout your tour of the visitor’s center, you will hear about several battleships and other vessels, but there are two that the harbor holds in the highest of regards – the USS Arizona and USS Missouri. Once you’ve seen all there is to see at the visitor’s center, there are two additional tours that are an absolute must to experience.
USS Arizona Memorial
During the attack on Pearl Harbor, many ships were lost. Among them was the USS Arizona, which has since been commemorated by a memorial built over it. The USS Arizona serves as the resting place of over 1,100 sailors, a massive relic that continues to spill “tears” of black. Aboard the memorial, which is accessible only by boat, you will hear from tour guides that can give you details that few school history lessons even know about.
You’ll see the remains of the impressive craft and get to see just how dedicated the crew aboard the ship really was, giving their lives to repel the unexpected attack.
USS Missouri Tour
Mirroring the Arizona in greatness is the USS Missouri, which happened to survive the attacks and become one of the most significant battleships in the entire war. Though definitely known for the brave crew that fought aboard the ship, the USS Missouri holds a far greater significance in that it served as the sight of the signing of the Japanese surrender documents.
Before you get to stand on the deck that General Douglas MacArthur and Admiral Chester W. Nimitz accepted Japan’s surrender, you will explore the belly of the ship, from the machine gun mounts to the cramped engine room and crew quarters.
Visiting the USS Arizona and the USS Missouri memorials is considered to be a figurative round-trip access to the start and end of World War II.
The United States has a lot of history, but it’s arguable if much of it shares the same significance as the attack on Pearl Harbor. You can debate that in your head for a bit, but regardless of your view point, it’s an undeniably unbelievable piece of United States’ history that you will want to get to know more about, and there’s no better way to do so than with these three overwhelmingly informational tours, provided to you by Holo Hawaii Tours.