The USS Arizona and Memorial

The Arizona Memorial is the final resting place of 1,177 Sailors and Marines killed during the attack at Pearl Harbor.  The surprise attack by Japanese forces on December 7, 1941 secured the United States involvement in World War II.  The memorial is a stark reminder of the sacrifices made by the men and women of our armed forces to protect our freedom and our way of life.

Dedication and Design

Construction to the USS Arizona Memorial was completed in 1962 and formally dedicated by President John F. Kennedy. The memorial does not touch the BB-39 USS Arizona Battleship. The Arizona Memorial host up to 200 individuals per visit. Alfred Preis, the architect, designed the memorial to represent the high points and low points of the war, incorporated the list of names of individuals that lost their lives on the USS Arizona, portholes for individuals to to see the Arizona Memorial, ensured the Memorial resembled a bridge, and added the Tree of Life in the memorial room. His design was chosen over several other architects.

Alfred Preis-Archictect of the Arizona Memorial.

The architect Alfred Preis, Austrian birth, left Austria in 1939 in the face of German annexation of his homeland and emigrated to the United States. The Germans invaded Poland on September 2, 1939 initiating war in Europe. Mr. Preis with his new wife found his way to Hawaii with help of the Catholic Refugee Association. After the attack on the Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor or Waimomi on December 7, 1941, Mr. Preis was detained and spent 3 months at the Sand Island Detainment Camp near the port of Honolulu. Mr. Preis lost everything he had, but “nevery expressed any bitterness towards coming here and being detained,” statement from Erica Pries.

After being released he worked at the Hawaii Department of public works before opening his own office. At which time he helped shape the schools, roads and public building that are still in use today. His most notable designs are the Arizona Memorial and the entrance of the Honolulu Zoo.

The Arizona Memorial

The Arizona Memorial is 186 feet long and capable of hosting 200 visitors at a time. The structure hovers over the Arizona Memorial without touching the USS Arizona, and represent a bridge of a ship. The memorial is itself ebbs in the center with two high points on each side. The memorial is perpendicular to the USS Arizona and centerline marking the location of the bridge. The memorial is perpendicular to the ship with rectangular portholes on each side. The entrance or loading dock can be found at the Diamond Head side of the memorial. Toward the back of the ship you will find the memorial room. The names of sailors and marines of those lost on 7 December 1941 are etched into marble. You will also see names of individuals that chose to be buried with their shipmates on two pillars to the right and left of the main wall.

The Arizona Memorial Program

The Arizona Memorial program consist of a 23-minute video followed by a visit to the Arizona Memorial. The total program is 75 minutes in duration. Upon completion of your tour, you will meet your guide at a pre-designated rally point.  Guides will not be with clients during this portion of the tour.  

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