Preview the New Pearl Harbor Museum and Visitor Center
Contact: Lisa Ontai, (808) 734-5625
National Park Service hosts previews in California, Arizona and Las Vegas to engage veterans and ensure their experiences are a part of the vision of the new visitor center.
CALIFORNIA, ARIZONA, NEVADA (August 12, 2008) -- Pearl Harbor Survivors (military and civilian,) WWII Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars and those interested in the history of the Pearl Harbor Attack and WWII in the Pacific are invited to a series of special previews of the new $52 million Pearl Harbor Museum & Visitor Center at the USS Arizona Memorial, August 25 – 31, in Arizona, Southern California and Las Vegas.
Scheduled for groundbreaking at the end of 2008, the new visitor center will replace the current USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center shoreside facility. The current building is failing and a new facility will better accommodate the more than 1.5 million annual visitors. The project will allow for a greatly expanded museum and comprehensive interpretation of the attack on Pearl Harbor and WWII in the Pacific. The new center, scheduled for completion in 2010, will be rebuilt in phases allowing it to remain open to the public during its entire 2-year construction period.
As the National Park Service moves forward with the new center, veterans and history enthusiasts are invited to be a part of the process and ensure their thoughts and experiences are a part of the vision. The 2-hour preview presentations are free, open to the public and scheduled as follows:
For more information on the preview presentations, call or email Lisa Ontai at (808) 734-5625 or LisaOntai@gmail.com. The National Park Service will also be filming interviews in MESA, AZ, ONTARIO, CA and SAN DIEGO, CA with Pearl Harbor Survivors to be used in the new Visitor Center exhibits. Interested military and civilian Pearl Harbor Survivors may call or email Beth Sternheimer at (617) 470-0715.
About the New Pearl Harbor Museum & Visitor Center at the USS Arizona Memorial
Through innovative design and technology, the new center will feature an array of indoor and outdoor galleries, interactive displays, two movie theaters, and an amphitheater and audiovisual center.
Interpretation of the attack on Pearl Harbor will include the many facets of history, people and events leading up to the attack, the attack itself and its aftermath. Galleries will depict civilian and military life on Oahu; the mindset of American and Japanese military strategists; a dramatic multimedia re-enactment of the attack; intricately designed replicas of historic aircraft carriers, battleships and airplanes; displays of rare artifacts and tactical films and the personal stories and experiences of Pearl Harbor Survivors, WWII Veterans, civilians and other eye-witnesses.
The new visitor center will also serve as the gateway to the other Pearl Harbor Historic Partner Memorial Sites: USS Oklahoma Memorial, USS Bowfin Museum and Park, Battleship Missouri Memorial and Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor.
About the USS Arizona Memorial and Visitor CenterThe USS Arizona, dedicated on Memorial Day 1962, is the final resting place for 1,177 crewmembers who lost their lives on Dec. 7, 1941. The memorial honors and commemorates all members of the U.S. Armed Forces and civilians who gave their lives to their country during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Built in 1980, the current USS Arizona Memorial Museum and Visitor Center is a significant part of the visitor experience and along with the memorial, is operated by the National Park Service under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Navy. Originally designed to accommodate 750,000 annual visitors, the visitor center today receives over 1.5 million visitors each year. The larger than expected visitation, structural deterioration due to water intrusion from the harbor, lack of space for the growing collection of rare museum artifacts, as well as insufficient educational and curatorial space have all contributed to the urgent need to replace and expand the current museum and visitor center. The new Pearl Harbor Museum & Visitor Center at the USS Arizona Memorial is scheduled to be completed December 7, 2010.
Did You Know?
Unlike the battlefields of Gettysburg and Antietam, the story of Pearl Harbor is alive in the memories of those who witnessed the attack. The Pearl Harbor survivors who volunteer at the USS Arizona Memorial tell their story to the public; they truly are living history.