On December 7th, 1941, hundreds of Japanese planes attacked Pearl Harbor and killed 2,403 and wounded over 1,000. This attack marked USA’s entry into WWII.After breakfast we were picked up just after 10am by a black van from Hawaiian Limos and driven to the Historical Pearl Harbour Site, sadly the promised commentary on the way was not forthcoming.
However, the Pearl Harbour experience was a real time of reflection. Although we only had limited time, we walked around the outside displays before heading to the museums and movie.
We only had time to go through one of the museums before it was time to line up for the movie and the shuttle ferry to the USS Arizona Memorial. The movie told the history of Pearl Harbour and showed real footage of the attack. We then boarded the shuttle ferry to the memorial.
The memorial was built over the sunken battleship USS Arizona, where 1,177 lost their lives. It was built to honour not only those lost in the ship, but all who lost their lives during the attack.
One could spent 4 or more hours here looking at the displays and museums, and just taking it all in. It is a very moving and solemn place.
The only down side was the tour package. We purchased the tour via the Pearl Harbour Official webpage, thinking this would be the best way to visit. That couldn't be further from the truth. Date, time pick-up were all confirmed when thy took our money. Final tickets arrive with the wrong time. We requested 8.30am and they gave us 6.30am. Those of you that know us, know that we are not morning people, especially a day after traveling almost half way around the world. I quickly emailed their mistake, only to be told that the time we chose was all booked, YET their website still showed spaces. I requested a 12.30 tour which also displayed many vacancies. We ended up on a 10am (not offered tour) which was via a small packed van. We had delays getting into the historical site while having to wait for other passengers placing their bags into lockers (about 10 minutes, even though they should have been aware that no bags could be taken inside) and then had a 40 min delay waiting in the hot sun when 4 passengers didn't turn up at the assigned time for pick-up. Whinge not over yet. The downtown tour that was to include Punchbowl Cemetery, which it didn't. There was really no commentary going to Pearl Harbour, but the commentary of the downtown area was good, except we didn't go to all the places we were expecting to go to from the tour description.
TIP - look at the official Pearl Harbour Site, it is full of great information, but do the tour yourself. Public buses will drop you off and pick you up right at the site $2.50 per person each way - remember to ask for a transit ticket (included) if catching more than one bus from your accommodation. The site is free, one only pays extra if you want to visit the Missouri or the Submarine. You will probably have to wait for standby tickets to the Arizona, unless you can get to the site at 6.30am and line up for the free tickets. Much cheaper than a 'tour ticket' and you can spend a lot more time exploring the site.