The National Park Service (NPS) in Hawaii has announced the immediate closure of one of America’s most famous memorials – the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor.
The closure is due to a “critical structural and safety issue impacting the USS Arizona Memorial dock and visitor loading ramp”. The site will remain closed “for an undetermined period of time” while remedial work is carried out.
The NPS says the problem had originally been thought to require only a minor repair, but after several weeks of analysis and consultation with structural engineers, they have now discovered it’ll take significantly more than that.
Visitors will still be able to see the free 25 minute documentary film followed by a harbour tour of Battleship Row in close proximity to the USS Arizona Memorial, and the NPS say they will enhance the visitor experience with live or recorded commentary on the tours.
All other amenities within the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center remain open and accessible. Visitors are encouraged to visit the NPS’s two free museums, shore side exhibits, bookstore, and virtual reality center. Also the Battleship Missouri Memorial, the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, and the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor are open and ready to welcome visitors.
It’s bad timing for the NPS with ‘Memorial Day’ fast approaching, but as they point out: safety comes first.
(Photo: Victor-ny [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons)