Monday, January 11, 2016

Celebrating National Parks - Aloha to the World War II Valor of the Pacific National Monument

Last week, I noted 2016 is the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service (NPS)(link).   To continue the celebration, I offer you the National Parks in Hawaii.  The number one tourist attraction on the island of Oahu is the World War II Valor of the Pacific National Monument. Visitors can explore interactive displays, including a short film, before taking the shuttle across Pearl Harbor to the USS Arizona Memorial.  From the NPS website (link),

The USS Arizona is the final resting place for many of the ship's 1,177 crewmen who lost their lives on December 7, 1941. The 184-foot-long Memorial structure spans the mid-portion of the sunken battleship and consists of three main sections: the entry room; the assembly room, a central area designed for ceremonies and general observation; and the shrine room, where the names of those killed on the Arizona are engraved on the marble wall.

Initial recognition came in 1950 when Admiral Arthur Radford, Commander in Chief, Pacific (CINCPAC), ordered that a flagpole be erected over the sunken battleship. On the ninth anniversary of the attack, a commemorative plaque was placed at the base of the flagpole.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who helped achieve Allied victory in Europe during World War II, approved the creation of the Memorial in 1958. Its construction was completed in 1961 with public funds appropriated by Congress and private donations. The Memorial was dedicated in 1962.

According to its architect, Alfred Preis, the design of the Memorial, "Wherein the structure sags in the center but stands strong and vigorous at the ends, expresses initial defeat and ultimate victory....The overall effect is one of serenity. Overtones of sadness have been omitted to permit the individual to contemplate his own personal responses... his innermost feelings."

Inside the memorial, the far wall lists the sailors who lost their lives on that day of infamy, including seven sets of brothers. The USS Arizona, resting on the bottom Pearl Harbor, leaks about one quart of oil each day. Survivors call them tears, believing the Arizona will leak until all survivors have joined their shipmates in the watery grave (the National Park Service allows survivors to have their ashes interred in the Arizona).

I am giving away a book choice from my convention stash to one randomly selected commenter - open forum.  Comments are open through Saturday, January 23, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, January 24 at SOS Aloha.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City
File:USS Arizona Memorial (aerial view).jpg

The Memorial spans the sunken USS Arizona.
Photo by US Navy (Public Domain)


  1. I love visiting parks. My next will be a bunch in Massachusetts. thanks for the great post.

  2. Visiting some national parks are on my bucket list!

  3. I've been to the Pearl Harbor center and memorial twice - there is a very distinct feeling being there and at other battle site memorials - very important for everyone who can to visit.

  4. I would love to visit Pearl Harbor - one can hope.

  5. Beautiful pictures, my dream is to go to Hawaii some day .