Gone, but never forgotten. That’s the promise of the many Pearl Harbour celebrations that go on every December 7th. Each year, thousands of military men and women as well as citizens come to Pearl Harbour to pay their respects to the crewmen who lost their lives in the Japanese attack that forced the U.S. into World War II.
Although these Pearl Harbour celebrations can be a lot of fun, they still call for remembrance and reflection. Many crewmen died on that day so long ago, and it’s important that these ceremonies honor them.
For more about these celebrations, check out our Pearl Harbour celebrations guide below.
To be a part of the Pearl Harbour celebrations, you have to be ready to get to Pearl Harbour early. The ceremony starts early so grab your coffee and make sure you get there on time.
The National Pearl Harbour Remembrance Day Commemoration begins at 7:45 a.m. at Kilo Pier and lasts for nearly two hours. Survivors of the terrible attack will usually return to pay their respects, and people from all branches of the military come to remember those who lost their lives that day. The ceremony is slightly different every year, so check here for more information as December 7th draws closer.
The harbour, of course, will be open that day. If this is your first time, schedule a tour in advance so you will be certain to see all the important sites and take in what this harbour means to so many. You won’t want to miss the USS Arizona memorial or the other cool museums in the area.
The Pearl Harbour Memorial Parade is one of the biggest public events of the day. It’s an evening event that brings everyone together to honor veterans once more. The parade starts at Fort DeRussey in Waikiki and goes down Kalakaua Ave. After a mile, it turns on Monsarrat Ave. and goes all the way to the Waikiki Shell where the fun will continue.
Almost every year, survivors of that fateful day come to lead the parade as grand marshals. They’re followed by military families and veterans from all branches. Banners commemorating the great battleships are also paraded down the street.
In addition to military members, local groups and bands keep the festivities high. Marching bands play jaunty tunes, and groups such as the American Legion Motorcycle Club show off their moves along the way. Cultural groups like the Fijian Culture Club and the Polynesian Culture Center share native customs in an effort to create harmony and show that enemies can become friends.
Once the parade ends, the Pearl Harbour celebrations continue at the Waikiki Shell where an evening concert is held. The giant shell hosts a different concert every year, and visitors are free to sit and enjoy the music.
If you’re planning a visit to Oahu in December, why not check out these awesome Pearl Harbour celebrations? Honor those brave crewmen and spend some time reflection on what it means to be a U.S. citizen.