Memorials at Pearl Harbor
With Memorial Day weekend upon us, what better way to celebrate than with family, friends, baseball, and barbecues. It is also important to remember what the meaning of the holiday is and salute the brave soldiers that have served our country both presently and over the many years through our countries history. History lives on at Pearl Harbor everyday with remembrance and tradition; and perhaps the most storied and touching tradition that lives on with the USS Arizona is the burial of the surviving crew members. Crew members who were assigned to the Arizona on December 7, 1941 have the right to have their remains cremated and interred inside the remains of the battleship. Those who were crew members before the fateful date, have the right to have their ashes scattered over the ship, also in a private ceremony. Accordingly, any survivor of the Pearl Harbor attacks can have their ashes scattered over the locationin the harbor where their ship was located during the attack. This tradition began on April 12, 1982 when retired Navy Chief Petty Officer Stanley M. Teslow was returned to his ship, becoming the first survivor to return. This tradition has since continued, and as of 2006, 28 surviving crew members have chosen to return to the ship on which they once served. The process to return the survivor’s remains to the ship is a private ceremony for the families, consisting of a two-bell ceremony from the Fleet Reserve Association, a rifle salute from the U.S. Navy or Marine Corps, and a benediction with the echo of Taps being played across the harbor. These services are conducted inside the memorial and consist of an invocation, a funeral ceremony, and a flag presentation to the family. As the ceremony concludes, the urn with the remains of the sailor are presented to divers, who swim the urn into the open barbette of gun turret number four and proceed to a large opening where the urn is placed and slides into the ship. Though these ceremonies are entirely private and restricted to family, you can discover Pearl Harbor on one of our tours. We offer many tour options and give you the best chance to see Pearl Harbor and tours are available from Big Island, Maui, and Kauai, as well as Oahu. We look forward to sharing Pearl Harbor with you and showing you our beautiful island.