The Battleship Missouri Memorial is reopening to the public next week, in time for an anticipated rush of holiday tourists.
The three other museums/memorials at Pearl Harbor — the USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum and USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park — all reopened previously at varying times in the face of COVID-19 restrictions and a severe downturn in tourist arrivals.
During what it’s calling an “initial reopening phase,” the Mighty Mo will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, and will be closed Christmas and New Years Day, the memorial said.
Officials said from the moment visitors step onto the shuttle bus at the Pearl Harbor Visitors Center for the short ride to Ford Island, memorial employees will be focused on sanitization of frequently touched areas and commonly used spaces. Additional sanitizing stations will also be made available around the ship for visitors to use.
“We really want to stress that the health and well-being of our guests are of the utmost importance,” Mike Carr, President and CEO of the Battleship Missouri Memorial, said in a release.
Visitors are being asked to follow basic Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, including wearing a face mask and maintaining physical distance.
“We’ve implemented operational changes and are providing static tours to safely engage with guests about the history, firepower and legacy of the Mighty Mo. Guests are also welcomed to independently explore the USS Missouri,” Carr said.
The summer exhibit, “Of Silhouettes and Ash: The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” showcasing artifacts from the 1945 atomic bombings, has been updated and extended through February 2021. Artifacts currently on display were installed on Dec. 2.
A newly-remodeled kamikaze exhibit also commemorates the 75th anniversary of the attack earlier this year. The memorial said the exhibit includes new artifacts and “last letter’s home” from pilots who embarked on the suicide missions.
The battleship was the site of Japan’s formal surrender on Sept. 2, 1945 in Tokyo Bay, officially ending the deadliest conflict in human history.