Pearl Harbor Visitor Center Groundbreaking Announced
Contact: Lisa Ontai, 808-375-9352
The public is invited to attend a special groundbreaking ceremony and Hawaiian blessing for the new multi-million dollar Pearl Harbor Memorial Museum and Visitor Center on Wednesday, November 5, 2008, 10:00 a.m., on the back lawn of the USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center. The new museum and visitor center facility will replace the current USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center shore side facility.
Hosted by the National Park Service, Navy Region Hawaii, Arizona Memorial Museum Association and the Pearl Harbor Memorial Fund, the ceremony will feature special presentations by notable government, military and community leaders including a keynote address by Hawaii State Senator Daniel Inouye and guest speaker Mal Middlesworth, President of the National Pearl Harbor Survivors Association. The ceremony will also include military band music selections, Morning Colors and a traditional Hawaiian Blessing by Kahu Kamaki Kanahele and Kahu Kalena Hew Len of the ground turning ceremony with O’o sticks.
PLEASE NOTE: The ceremony is free of charge and seats for the general public are available on a first come, first served basis. Personal cameras may be used, however due to strict security measures; NO camera bags, purses, handbags and/or other items that offer concealment are allowed in the visitor center or at the ceremony.
Built in 1980, the current visitor center is failing and a new facility will better accommodate the more than 1.5 million annual visitors. The new facility will also feature a greatly expanded museum and comprehensive interpretation of the attack on Pearl Harbor and the island of Oahu, as well as the events of WWII in the Pacific.
Construction of the new visitor center is planned in phases over the next two years enabling the center and tours to the USS Arizona Memorial to remain open throughout the entire construction period. Construction is expected to begin within the next few months with completion schedule for December 2010.
To view interactive artist renderings of the new Pearl Harbor Memorial Museum and Visitor Center and exhibit galleries, please visit www.pearlharbormemorial.com.
Did You Know?
Although the USS Arizona was stricken from the official register of U.S. naval vessels after the attack, on March 7, 1950, she was symbolically "re-commissioned" when a flagpole was erected on the ship.