It’s a sad fact that as time passes, the memories of some of the most important days in history will eventually fade. Will we be able to keep these memories alive and ensure that these momentous days in our past never fade away? Nothing is guaranteed, but for Pearl Harbor, the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument serves as an attempt at never letting the world forget about the devastating events of December 7th, 1941 – a day that changed the course of American and world history.

While the national monument is a commemoration of the servicemen and civilians affected by the surprise Japanese attack, it’s not the only place to learn more about the history of Pearl Harbor. Along with the exhibits and memorials there, the Bishop Museum in Honolulu also pays its own unique tribute to civilians who lived through this remarkable day in history. Together, the two help to create a more complete look into the history of the attack, the events that came after, and its effect on the war that framed it.

Within Pearl Harbor

Remembering Pearl Harbor - Visitor Center

Pearl Harbor Visitor Center

The site of a major historical event is nearly always the best place to explore the story behind it – and that’s 100% accurate in the case of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument. It’s difficult to forget what you learn from this tour of history, starting with a stop at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. The hub of everything related to the attack, the Visitor Center features “Attack” and “Road to War,” two exhibit galleries that feature relics from the attack and the harbor, some pulled from the wreckages and others gathered throughout the years from veterans and their families.

Preservation is key to ensuring lasting memories of history, making these exhibits among the most important parts of the story.

Adding to the stockpile of artifacts linking back to December 7th is the Bishop Museum’s “Homefront Hawaii” exhibit. Featuring items not seen at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, this exhibition lets you dig deeper into the effect of the attack on the residents of Oahu, and Hawaii in general.

Remembering Pearl Harbor

Japanese planes attack

Why is it so important to remember the events of Pearl Harbor?

Without the attack on December 7th, there’s no telling where the course of World War II might have gone. Maybe the United States would have stayed out of the physical conflict long enough for Germany and Japan to get an edge over the Allies, solidifying their victory even had the US eventually entered the fray. It’s important to keep in mind the events of the past as they are what help to write the future, even as they inch ever further back from our time.

Pearl Harbor touched many lives, military and civilian, and though generations have passed since that ill-fated day in December of 1941, it remains as important today as it was 75 years ago.

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