August 26, 2016 | 76° | Check Traffic

Top News

Crowds return to pay respects at USS Arizona Memorial

  • DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COMA worker at the Arizona Memorial announced to the crowd this morning the departure time of the next tour boat.
    DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM
    A worker at the Arizona Memorial announced to the crowd this morning the departure time of the next tour boat.

Visitors and tour groups flocked back to the USS Arizona Memorial this morning for the first time since the government’s partial shutdown closed national parks on Oct. 1.

The re-opening at 7 a.m. came as a relief to tourists who feared that they would not get to see one of Hawaii’s most-visited and most-revered attractions.

Elmer and Mary Byrd of Tennessee arrived on Oahu on Tuesday, hoping that the shutdown would end before they left the island.

“If we had made a list from top to bottom of the things that we wanted to see that was number one,” Mary Byrd said as she pointed toward the stark white memorial and her voice cracked with emotion. “My husband served in Vietnam and his dad in World War II and his grandfather in World War I, and it was breaking our hearts that we weren’t going to be able to be there.”

The Byrds toured the USS Missouri Wednesday and came back to the area today to visit the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, which was closed during the duration of the 16-day shutdown.

“We were so blessed to be able to come back today, so thankful,” Mary Byrd said. 

The shutdown ended Thursday and some parks, including Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, re-opened immediately, but officials needed a day to prepare for the re-opening of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument.

No comments
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.