Pearl Harbor attack’s 75th anniversary is less memory, more memorial

The 75th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, which pulled the U.S. into World War II, will be marked on December 7, 2016. A popular tourist attraction will be the USS Arizona Memorial, where oil still seeps to the surface, creating a constant reminder of what is entombed beneath the surface, as in a May 2004 file image. (Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times/TNS)


By ELLEN CREAGER | Detroit Free Press | Published: September 21, 2016

Most people alive today recall the dreadful day of Sept. 11, 2001, when the twin towers fell in New York.

Far fewer of us can personally remember Dec. 7, 1941, when Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, was attacked by the Japanese, killing 2,043 Americans and pulling the U.S. into World War II.

The 75th anniversary of that event is this year. While more memorial than memory, Pearl Harbor still inspires:

Ceremony: December will see commemorations organized by the National Park Service and the U.S. Navy (the Navy would like to hear from any survivors of Pearl Harbor or World War II; call 808-473-1173.) Some events will be open to the public.

Travel: Many organizations are sponsoring special trips. Try “75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor” by Military Historical Tours, Dec. 2-8 (includes hotel, meals, events but not airfare, $2,695 per person, or “75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor Symposium and Tour” Dec. 1-8 offered by the National World War II Museum in New Orleans (geared to avid history buffs, includes hotel, meals, noted historians, special events but not airfare, $8,995 per person, call 877-813-3329 ext. 257, www.ww2museumtours.org.)

Tours: If you are in Honolulu and want to visit Pearl Harbor on your own, here are two options I like:

“Passport to Pearl Harbor”: Buy tickets directly from www.recreation.gov ($65). Includes all four main Pearl Harbor sites -- the USS Arizona memorial, Battleship Missouri memorial, USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and the Pacific Aviation Museum. If you just want to see the USS Arizona memorial, tickets are free, either walk-up (sometimes they run out) or in advance.

“Air, Land and Sea Pearl Harbor Tour” sponsored by the Pearl Harbor Visitors Bureau. You visit the sites at Pearl Harbor then take a thrilling 45-minute helicopter ride over Pearl Harbor and Honolulu ($348 adult, https://visitpearlharbor.org.) They also offer land-based bus tours from $39 and up that take you to Pearl Harbor and related sites.

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