There are many sites and exhibits to see when you visit Pearl Harbor. From the moment you arrive at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, you’re surrounded by information of the Japanese assault of December 7, 1941. In addition to the museums and exhibits of the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, one of the most moving installations is the Pearl Harbor Remembrance Circle.

So, what is the Pearl Harbor Remembrance Circle?

The Pearl Harbor Remembrance Circle

Map of Oahu in the center of the Pearl Harbor Remembrance Circle

Map of Oahu in the center of the Pearl Harbor Remembrance Circle

After you’ve explored the “Road to War” and “Attack!” galleries and returned to the open area outside, just beyond the USS Arizona’s bell you’ll see a roughly circular series of paths. Directly ahead is the Pearl Harbor Remembrance Circle.

The name is descriptive of what it is: a circular memorial dedicated to the memory of all those lost during the attack on Pearl Harbor. It’s a simple concrete structure that surrounds a pedestal with a topographical map of Oahu. The map features markers indicating the various locations around the island that were struck on the morning of the attack. Along with the Pearl Harbor naval base, locations like Hickam Field and Naval Air Station Kaneohe Bay also came under attack.

Look beyond the map to the semi-circle facing in the direction of the USS Arizona Memorial. Here you’ll see a series of plaques, each one listing the names of the 2,403 Americans who were killed that day. It goes beyond those serving in the military, as well, and lists names of the civilians caught in the attack. Names are organized based on where they were stationed to help visitors piece together the events of that devastating day.

From the Pearl Harbor Remembrance Circle, visitors have a clear view of Ford Island, the USS Arizona Memorial, and the Battleship Missouri.

Contemplation Circle

Not far from the Pearl Harbor Remembrance Circle is the Contemplation Circle. This waterside space offers a view similar to that from the Remembrance Circle, but rather than being a memorial, it’s a place to simply sit and reflect on the events of December 7, 1941 and the sacrifices of those lost that day.

 

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