Here’s Your Best Guide to Commemorating Pearl Harbor’s 75th Anniversary

Everything you need to know about attending Pearl Harbor events.
Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary
Photo: Courtesy of Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary


In commemoration of the sacrifices that were made on Dec. 7, 1941, various branches of the military as well as private organizations are hosting multiple events throughout the week that are open to the public. Most of them are free. Young or old, military or civilian, there are many ways you can participate in honoring Pearl Harbor’s 75th anniversary. Here’s our guide to navigating the events.


1. Motorists, Plan Ahead

All town-bound lanes of Kamehameha Highway will be closed at McGrew Loop from 4 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, Dec. 7, to support traffic control for Pearl Harbor 75th Commemoration events at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. This means if you’re heading to town, you’ll be detoured to H-201 Moanalua Freeway via Honomanu Street. You should also expect greater than normal congestion and delays on that day, so plan ahead via, Google Maps or Waze.


2. The Two Main Events

Pearl Harbor


National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Commemoration

When: Wednesday, Dec. 7, 7:45 to 9:15 a.m.

Where: Kilo Pier, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam

What: Honor the men and women who survived the attack and those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Listen to music by the Navy’s Pacific Fleet Band and watch a Hawaiian blessing, the presentation of colors by the U.S. Pacific Command Joint Service Color Guard, a rifle salute by U.S. Marine Corps, wreath presentations and echo taps. There will also be a vintage plane fly-by by the Pacific Warbirds.

Tip: Seating is extremely limited for the public, so consider viewing the event online via livestream:



But, if you do plan to go—and you don’t have an invitation—drive to Gate 3 and 4 of Aloha Stadium, which opens at 4 a.m. Shuttles will start at 4:30 a.m. We recommend taking the H-1 freeway to the H-201 east-bound, taking exit 1B and merging onto Kahuapa‘ani Street to avoid traffic.


Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade and Public Ceremony

Pearl Harbor parade
Photo: Courtesy of Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary


When: Wednesday, Dec. 7; 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Where: Kalākaua Avenue, Waikīkī

What: This annual parade starts at Fort DeRussy, goes along Kalākaua Avenue and ends at Kapi‘olani Park. More than 100 groups will be walking in the parade, including Joint Service Color Guard, Honolulu Police Department Motorcycle Unit, Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade Banner, Gov. David Ige and many more. This year, Pearl Harbor survivors will be saluted by actor and Grand Marshal Gary Sinise.

Tip: Bring an umbrella and a warm jacket, as it is forecasted to rain tomorrow evening, with a good chance of showers between 3 and 6 p.m. Try to arrive at least an hour early, and park along Kapi‘olani Park for street parking.


3. Avoid the Crowd

Freedom Bell Ringing

Pearl Harbor Freedom Bell Ringing
Photo: Michael Lee


When: Wednesday, Dec. 7; 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 8; 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday, Dec. 9; 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 10; 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park

What: Go low-key and honor the day privately with your family. Ring the Spirit of Liberty Foundation Freedom Bell in memory of loved ones, and then tour the submarine and the museum for $8 each. You can book online at


‘Iolani School Pearl Harbor Survivors Forum

When: Friday, Dec. 9; 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: ‘Iolani School, Sullivan Center, Third Floor

What: Meet and hear stories firsthand from 30 Pearl Harbor survivors. ‘Iolani School will also be planting a puakenikeni tree in their honor. Veterans will arrive at 11 a.m., and there will be lunch starting 11:20 p.m. for them. The talk story takes place from 12:15 to 1 p.m., and the tree planting ceremony will take place on the ‘Ewa side of the football field, facing the 100th battalion building.


4. Entertainment

Sands of Iwo Jima and The Finest Hours (Cancelled)

When: Thursday, Dec. 8; 5:30 to 10 p.m., Friday, Dec. 9; 5:30 to 10 p.m.

Where: Waikīkī Outdoor Theater

What: Watch two movies featuring the U.S. Marine Corps (Sands of Iwo Jima) and the U.S. Coast Guard (The Finest Hours) at the Waikīkī Outdoor Theater. The program begins at 5:30 p.m. on Waikīkī Beach—Diamond Head side of Kalākaua Avenue—with live music, food and beverage concessions and more. The movies will begin on both days around 7:30 p.m. 


75th Anniversary Pearl Harbor Mass Band Performance

Pearl Harbor band
Photo: Courtesy of Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary


When: Wednesday, Dec. 7; 12 to 1 p.m.

Where: Battleship Missouri Memorial

What: Listen to more than 1,000 student musicians playing to commemorate the anniversary, with a concert entitled “A Gift of Music.” The performance will be broadcast internationally.


Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood Benefit Concert

Garth Brooks

When: Thursday, Dec. 8; 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 9; 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 10; 6:30 and 10 p.m.

Where: Neal Blaisdell Arena, $69 plus $6.25 service fee

What: Garth Brooks performs live for the first time in Hawai‘i with special guest Trisha Yearwood. Because of recent ticket scams, tickets can only be purchased at or through Ticketmaster Express at (866) 448-7849 or (800) 745-3000. There are no ticket sales at the venue box office or Ticketmaster outlets, so go online.


For more Pearl Harbor 75th anniversary events, visit You can also follow along on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, and use the hashtag #pearlharbor75. 


Read More Stories by Maria Kanai