Many who visit Hawaii are aware of the events of Pearl Harbor that occurred in December of 1941, and the USS Arizona Memorial is one sight many visitors make a point of seeing. What visitors may not realize is that there are many other places on Oahu which honor the military veterans of both Hawaii, as a state, and America, as a country. Pearl Harbor itself offers more than just the USS Arizona Memorial! There are museums, a submarine, and a battleship, which can be visited, and all offer a history of and pay honor to the veterans of World War II. In addition to Pearl Harbor however, there are sights at other locations around Oahu which many will find interesting, touching, and beautiful! Therefore, in honor of Veteran’s Day, which was on November 11th, we wanted to offer a listing of these sights, with a brief description, so that those who wish can stop by to see these important memorials as you travel around the island. We begin with the memorials and museums of Pearl Harbor and continue from there into Honolulu and on around the island….
- USS Arizona Memorial…the battleship itself became the final resting place for 1,177 of the ship’s crew who lost their lives. The Arizona was the most heavily damaged of all vessels in Battleship Row in the attack on Pearl Harbor and the Memorial was constructed atop it.
- USS Oklahoma Memorial…dedicated in 2007, this site stands on Ford Island next to the former berth of the Oklahoma, which was the ship that suffered the second highest amount of casualties.
- USS Utah….another of the battleships sunk during the Pearl Harbor attack, a plaque was placed as a memorial at the site where the ship still lies, not far from the battleship Arizona
- USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park…The submarine can be visited and the Pacific Fleet Submarine Waterfront Memorial nearby pays tribute, beautifully, to the 52 submarines destroyed during WWII
- USS Missouri Battleship Memorial…you can board this retired battleship which is famous not because it was present at the Pearl Harbor bombing, but because it was on the deck of the “Mighty Mo” that the Japanese officially surrendered at the end of WWII, and it is therefore now a part of the Pearl Harbor memorial sites
- National Cemetery of the Pacific…located just north of downtown Honolulu, in the extinct volcano called Punchbowl, this is the resting place for almost 53,000 veterans and honors the sacrifice and achievements of America’s Armed Forces during the 20th century wars. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places…it is a beautiful, peaceful, place to visit and,we might add, from the vantage point of Punchbowl there is a panoramic view of Honolulu!
- Hawaii Veterans Memorial…located across from the Hawaii State Capitol Building in Honolulu, this sculpture holds an eternal flame and is dedicated to the men and women of the state of Hawaii who have served in the armed forces of the United States
- Hawaii Korean and Vietnam War Memorial…in downtown Honolulu situated between the Hawaii State Art Museum and the Hawaii State Capitol Building, this majestic memorial is engraved with the names of the people from Hawaii who died during the Korean and Vietnam wars
- Brothers in Valor Memorial… at Kalakaua Ave and Saratoga Road, in Waikiki’s Fort DeRussey park, this black marble monument recognizes the contributions of Japanese Americans who served in the US Armed Forces during WWII…the artist who created the sculpture, Bumpei Akaji, was himself a veteran of the renowned 442nd
- Pacific War Memorial in Kaneohe…located at the entrance to the Marine Corps Base in Kaneohe, this replica of the famous “raising of the flag” National Iwo Jima Memorial, is dedicated to veterans who served in the Pacific during WWII…Iwo Jima took place in the Pacific and the men involved trained here in Hawaii
- Haleiwa Beach War Memorial…on the North Shore of Oahu, in Haleiwa, stands the last monument on our list, dedicated to veterans from Waialua to Kahuku who died during WWII and the Korean and Vietnam Wars
As you can see, here on Oahu the military history of Hawaii is honored, as are its fallen heroes and all who serve the United States in the Armed Forces! Each of the places listed inspires and impresses those who stop to view it and/or pay their respects. We would only add that many of our local businesses and attractions offer courtesy discounts to all military personnel and their families, in recognition and appreciation of their important role in our state and our country!