Visitors to Waikiki focus on the sunshine, beach, and Hawaiian Aloha culture, but there have been sad times even here in paradise. It was 75 years ago this December that the bombing of Pearl Harbor drew the United States into World War II. While Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial always honor the memory of the American servicemen who died that day, there will be additional special events as part of the Pearl Harbor 75th anniversary commemoration this year from Dec 1 - Dec 11. National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is December 7.
Events will take place around Oahu, including military band performances, the laying of wreaths, a symposium, and movies on Waikiki beach. Many events will take place at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, home of the USS Arizona Memorial, marking the resting spot of one of the destroyed ships and many of its sailors. National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is December 7.
Visits to Pearl Harbor can include three historic sites in addition to the USS Arizona Memorial: the Battleship Missouri Memorial, USS Bowfin Submarine Museum, and the Pacific Aviation Museum. Start at the Visitor Center to get your timed ticket to the Arizona Memorial; it includes an explanatory film and a boat ride to reach the site. You can explore the other museums while waiting for the Arizona.
After a solemn visit to Pearl Harbor, shake off your somber mood and recover the lighter spirit of the Hawaiian Islands by returning to your Waikiki beach hotel. The Holiday Inn Waikiki Beachcomber is just steps from the water, where your can snorkel, surf, experience an outrigger canoe ride, or just lie in the sun. Pearl Harbor's tragic past is history; your fun vacation in paradise is right now.