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USS Arizona Memorial

Lined up tight in a row of seven battleships off Ford Island, the USS Arizona took a direct hit on December 7, 1941, exploded, and rests still on the shallow bottom where she settled. A visit to what is now known as the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, begins prosaically—a line, a ticket that assigns you to a group and tour time, a wait filled with shopping, visiting the museum, and strolling the grounds. When your number is called, you watch a short documentary film, then board the ferry to the memorial. The swooping, stark-white memorial, which straddles the wreck of the USS Arizona, was designed by Honolulu architect Alfred Preis to represent both the depths of the low-spirited, early days of the war, and the uplift of victory. A somber, contemplative mood descends upon visitors during the ferry ride; this is a place where 1,777 people died. Gaze at the names of the dead carved into the wall of white marble. Scatter flowers (but no lei—the string is bad for the fish). Salute the flag. Remember Pearl Harbor. www.nps.gov/valr. COST: Free. Add $5 for museum audio tours. OPEN: Daily 7--5, tours 8--3.

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