Posted by: Lady Optimistic | November 21, 2014

Out of Order – Pearl Harbor

My kids and I had a great time at the memorial.  Its a somewhat somber place, but it is nicely done, and the crowds weren’t bad at all.  We were there until about 2PM.

When we arrived we had to check our back paks.  You can’t take in any sort of bag.  So I carried my wallet and camera.  You must pay $3.00 to check your stuff.  Cash only. Then we went in to the site.

Tickets for the Arizona Memorial are free, but you must get one.  The ticket has a time on it and that is the time when you can go to the theatre and see a short documentary about the attack.  We had to wait approx. 30 minutes.  During that wait we were lucky enough to meet a gentleman who was a survivor.

The documentary is very well done and very interesting.  My kids and I learned a lot.  After the movie you exit directly out to a boat that takes you out to the memorial.  Once inside, you have about 15 or 20 minutes maybe to look around and appreciate the whole thing.  Its lovely, somber and quite moving.  There are rangers present to answer questions.  You will be herded out to leave if, like us, you loose track of time.  I would have liked to stay out there just a little longer.

We purchased the audio tour, for $7.50 each, and it was great.  It really hammered home a lot of the history.  It helped to pace my kids. 🙂

There are sites along the water where you can read interesting stuff, and the audio tour walks you through a bit of that.  The audio tour is strong at the Memorial itself and in the two small museums – explaining lots of things as well as commentary from survivors.

After we got back from the Memorial itself, we walked the rest of the grounds and went through the two museums.

There are gift shops and there is a snack shack. On the other side, you can go visit  a submarine.  The cost for that is $12.00 per adult and $5.00 for kids.  The cost of the ticket includes an audio tour.  We did this.  It took about 20 minutes.  It was cool for my kids to see a submarine, as this was a first for them.  There actually is one in San Francisco, but we never go to the city if we can help it 🙂

There is at least one other memorial that you can see, and pay for, but we were done in after the submarine, so decided to head home.

Be sure to have hats and sunscreen as you will be outside mostly and there’s not much shade.  Near the submarine is a proper place to get some lunch, but I was too cheap 🙂

The bus ride back took exactly an hour.

A little trick I figured out about the bag thing is, go to the gift shop first and have them put your item in a bag 🙂  Lots of people were carrying gift shop bags and had put other stuff inside, too.

Overall I am very pleased that my children had a chance to see this place and spend so much time listening to and appreciating this aspect of the history of WWII.  The people were respectful and it was very powerful.  And even though Elvis Presely made the initial principal donation that made this memorial possible, he is mentioned nowhere at the memorial.  They will tell you what he did, but that is the only mention.  Truly classy, IMHO.

Anyway, I’ve gone on and on, but I sure hope it helps!  Tomorrow we are off to the zoo!

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