Pearl Harbor Memorial Honolulu | USS Arizona Memorial | USS Missouri

I've always been a World War II buff given the military background in my life. My grandfather was in World War II and I am a Navy veteran myself so when I visited Oahu a trip to Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial was a must. It was an honor and privilege to be at this site to pay respect to those who fought and those who sacrificed their lives and remain behind. Join me on this visual journey through the USS Arizona Memorial, USS Missouri, and the Day of Infamy at Pearl Harbor as I do my best to showcase the beauty and solemnity captured through the lens, and uncover the details of the fateful day that forever changed the world.

A black and white image after sunset of the uss Arizona memorial. The American flying above the memorial shown in color.

After sunset at the USS Arizona memorial the internal lights turn on and give a warm casting light. It was a quiet somber moment. This was a view I had to capture and express the gentle, peaceful moment in time. Photo © copyright by Joe Garza.

The Day of Infamy | Bombing of Pearl Harbor

On December 7, 1941, the Japanese launched a surprise attack on the United States' naval base at Pearl Harbor, marking a turning point in World War II. Early that Sunday morning, waves of Japanese aircraft descended upon the harbor, bombing and repeatedly attacking the American fleet. The attack resulted in the loss of over 2,400 American lives, the destruction of battleships, aircraft, and infrastructure, and propelled the United States into a global conflict.

USS Arizona | The Tragic Loss and Ultimate Sacrifice

The American flag with stars and stripes flying with the USS Arizona memorial in the background.

The United States flag blows in the wind from a liberty boat with the USS Arizona in the background during sunset. Visiting this historical National Landmark is an overwhelming experience. The feelings are hard to describe when you visit this memorial and remember the tragedy that unfolded on December 7th, 1941. Photo © copyright by Joe Garza.

Among the ships caught in the devastating attack was the USS Arizona, a Pennsylvania-class battleship. A Japanese bomb struck the ship, igniting its forward ammunition magazine and causing a catastrophic explosion. The USS Arizona sank within minutes, taking the lives of 1,177 crew members. Today, the submerged wreckage of the USS Arizona serves as the focal point of the USS Arizona Memorial, honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

The USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor stands as a powerful testament to the events of December 7, 1941, and the lives lost during that fateful day. The memorial is the final resting place for 1,102 of the 1,177 Sailors and Marines that perished on during the Pearl Harbor attack.

Exploring the USS Arizona Memorial

The front of this museum inscribed in concrete bears the name of the USS Arizona Memorial. The inside of the memorial is lit up for the night.
An impacting and powerful image as the evening lights shine within the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. Knowing the 1,102 Sailors and Marines of BB-39 rest beneath these walls lie is enough to leave you breathless in the silence of this museum. Photo © copyright by Joe Garza.

The USS Arizona Memorial's design creates a serene atmosphere, inviting visitors to reflect on the events that unfolded at Pearl Harbor. The centerpiece is the white marble structure that straddles the sunken battleship. Inside, visitors can pay their respects and view the names of the fallen inscribed on the marble wall.

It was very important to me to approach the memorials with sensitivity, while attempting to capture both the grandeur and the solemnity that emanate from these historical vessels.

A sailor is standing on board and inside the open white memorial structure with sunlight shining thru casting shadows lines across the floor.

Standing on the USS Arizona Memorial completely alone was not only a powerful moment in time but to have a active Navy sailor standing at parade rest was a moment in time I will always remember. Photo © copyright by Joe Garza.

USS Missouri | The End of World War II

A black and white image of a US Navy Battleship is tied up to port looking at her starboard side.

USS Missouri sits at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu as a floating museum standing guard and overlooks the USS Arizona at her bow. This battleship is a massive beast tied up to her dock. If you love the WWII era and battleships then this image would be a amazing to have in your home or office to commemorate the end of WWII and the victory this battleship represents. Photo © copyright by Joe Garza.

The USS Missouri, also known as the "Mighty Mo," played a pivotal role in World War II, serving as the site where the Japanese officially surrendered to the Allied forces, marking the end of the war. On September 2, 1945, aboard the decks of the USS Missouri, representatives from Japan and the Allied powers signed the Instrument of Surrender. Today, visitors can explore this historic battleship and witness the location where peace was restored.

A Navy battleship looking directly at the front shows the symmetrical steel plates.

The USS Missouri is moored up in Pearl Harbor bay. The symmetry of bow of the ship caught my eye and made me want to capture the strength and power it demonstrates. Also known as the Mighty Mo, it was the location where Japan surrendered ending World War II. Photo © copyright by Joe Garza.

USS Missouri and USS Arizona | At Rest in Pearl Harbor

The USS Missouri rests in the harbor near the USS Arizona Memorial and in this photo, with the USS Missouri standing tall in front of the USS Arizona Memorial, this image captures two very pivotal moments in U.S. history. Photographing the USS Arizona Memorial and the USS Missouri was such a moving experience and a unique opportunity to capture the emotion, historical significance, and architectural beauty of these iconic sites.

A white memorial structure at Pearl Harbor sits in the water with a navy battleship in the background during a sunset. Orange and red clouds fill the sky.

The USS Arizona memorial protects and covers the USS Arizona BB-39 during a beautiful sunset in Honolulu, Hawaii. In the background the USS Missouri overlooks and protects her sailors who are still entombed within the ships quarters. Photo © copyright by Joe Garza.

Pearl Harbor Survivors | Louis Conter

As of this writing, Louis Conter is the sole survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor. You can read about his story on this tragic day at the Arizona Final Salute website. Watch the following video to hear him tell the story as he reviews the events surrounding the attack.

USS Arizona Memorial Photos | USS Missouri Photos| All Images by Joe Garza Photography

Pearl Harbor Memorial | Ships in Pearl Harbor Attack | USS Arizona Memorial | USS Missouri

Thank you for visiting my site and viewing this blog and the photos about the attack on Pearl Harbor, the ships in the Pearl Harbor Attack, and the lone survivor, Lou Conter. The Pearl Harbor Memorial is a powerful, moving tribute and it was an honor and privilege to capture these photos of the memorials that stand to remember those who fought and lost their lives.