Historic Ford Island
WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument honors and preserves the historic sites and memories of the Pacific War. The Monument includes sites in Alaska, California, and Hawaii including the sites at Pearl Harbor. Located in the Harbor, Ford Island served as a strategic military stronghold since World War One. As an important airfield during the December 7, 1941 attack, Ford Island experienced heavy bombing which destroyed hangars and airplanes.
Today, the island continues as a part of the Pearl Harbor-Hickam Joint Military Base as well as home to the Battleship USS Missouri and Pacific Aviation Museum. Visitors can access these sites by bus from the Pearl Harbor visitor center. Ford Island was at the center of the December 7, 1941 attack, and therefore has a number of reminders and memorials to that infamous day.
Some of the earliest memorials dedicated to those lost on that morning remain on the Island. The memorial pictured to the left is dedicated to the men of the USS Arizona and looks out to the ship still lying in the Harbor. A similar memorial was dedicated to the USS Nevada.
Like the USS Arizona, the USS Utah could not be raised from the place it was sunk by Japanese torpedoes. Today it remains where it lay that day and serves as a tomb to those who lost their lives. The memorial seen there today was dedicated in 1972. A walkway leads out to view the ship as seen in the picture to the right. Though this memorial is not within an area that visitors can access, the USS Oklahoma Memorial can be seen on the bus ride to the USS Missouri.
USS Oklahoma survivors, USS Oklahoma Memorial at Pearl Harbor Committee, and hundreds of others came together to support and create the USS Oklahoma Memorial honoring the 429 men who lost their lives on that ship, the second largest loss of life on a ship that morning. Consisting of a black granite wall representing the hull of the ship, and white granite standards representing the men who lost their lives, the Memorial was dedicated in 2007.
The memorials are not the only reminders of the impact December 7, 1941 had on Ford Island. Looking out onto the busy Harbor from the island, marks can still be seen in the concrete where bombs and gunfire hit the ground that morning. Bullet holes can also be seen in the hangar pictured below.
In addition to these marks from the past, many structures from the World War Military era remain in operation on the island, such as 1930s bungalows that served as military housing. With the historic setting, and dedicated memorials Ford Island sustains our connection with the past, connecting historic events with present day values for this generation and the next.
Plan Your Visit to the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center and Ford Island: http://www.recreation.gov/
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