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.
After parking (free) you will enter the visitor center where you will receive a numbered ticket. The Visitor Center is operated by the National Park Service and is free to the public. It has a museum with exhibits about the Pearl Harbor attack, such as the ship’s bell from the USS Arizona. The Pacific Historic Parks Bookstore revenue helps support the museum.
Access to the USS Arizona Memorial itself is by U.S. Navy boat manned by sharply dressed and professional U.S. Navy crew. A numbered ticket, obtained at the Visitor Center and valid for a designated departure time, is required. Because of the large number of visitors and the limited number of boat departures, the 4,500 tickets available each day are often fully allocated by mid-morning so please get there early. Before boarding the boat for the short trip to the Memorial, a 23-minute documentary film depicting the attack on Pearl Harbor is presented. Touring of the Memorial is self-guided. A one-hour audio tour of the Memorial and Center exhibits, narrated by actress Jamie Lee Curtis, is available for rent at the Visitor Center. On the Center’s grounds along the shoreline are more exhibits and a “Remembrance Circle”.
As a special tribute to the ship and her lost crew, the United States flag flies from the flagpole, which is attached to the severed mainmast of the sunken battleship. The USS Arizona Memorial has come to commemorate all military personnel killed in the Pearl Harbor attack.
If you are lucky, a Pearl Harbor survivor will be volunteering at the visitor center during your visit to share his personal experiences. After a short movie, you will take a boat ride across Pearl Harbor and visit the USS Arizona memorial.