Why did the name of the park change from WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument to the Pearl Harbor National Memorial?
The new name reflects a desire to better connect with the familiarity of the events which took place at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 which are recognized as some of the most important moments in human history.
What’s the difference between a monument and a memorial?
In the United States, a national monument is a protected area similar to a national park, but can be created from any land owned or controlled by the federal government by proclamation of the President of the United States. A national memorial is a designation in the United States for an officially recognized area that memorializes a historic person or event.
Pearl Harbor National Memorial was created to commemorate the events of December 7, 1941 and to honor the thousands of Americans who served and sacrificed on that day and throughout the Pacific War.
Will there be any changes to how the public engages with the park?
There will be very little change to the manner in which visitors engage with the site following its recent redesignation. Media, signs and brochures will be rebranded but primarily the new name will be a better representation of the mission of the National Park Service at Pearl Harbor.
Does this mean more resources will be provided to the park?
The NPS will continue to provide an annual budget to Pearl Harbor National Memorial based on funding provided by Congress, and officials are hopeful that the new designation will improve private fundraising efforts as the new name becomes more readily recognizable to potential donors.
Can you give me more background information on the name change?
The John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act (formerly known as the Natural Resources Management Act) was signed into law on March 12, 2019, making Pearl Harbor National Memorial its own stand-alone unit, separate from the previously incorporated sites in Alaska and California under the name WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument.
Pearl Harbor National Memorial is comprised of the USS Arizona, USS Oklahoma and USS Utah Memorials, in addition to six Chief Petty Officer Bungalows (senior enlisted quarters bordering the waters of Pearl Harbor in 1941), three mooring quays (docking stations for the Pacific Fleet during / following the attack on Pearl Harbor) and the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center and curatorial collections.
These various locations were originally maintained by the US Navy following the war and established as the USS Arizona Memorial in 1980, before being redesignated as World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument in 2008 by President George W. Bush. It was redesignated again on March 12, 2019, as Pearl Harbor National Memorial.
Prior to the current legislation, the park consisted of sites in the Aleutian Islands in Alaska, and Tule Lake in California.