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USS Arizona memorial at Pearl Harbor closed indefinitely over structural damage

U.S. Navy Sailors render honors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), as the ship passes the USS Arizona Memorial at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Cole Schroeder/Released)
May 29, 2018

The USS Arizona memorial at Pearl Harbor is closed indefinitely due to structural damage, according to a spokesman for the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument.

Transportation by boat was suspended May 6 after a vessel operator noticed a crack on the memorial’s exterior, Hawaii News Now reported.

“The maintenance staff went out promptly to investigate and determined that in the interest of public safety, we were going to shut down operations that day so that we could have experts come in and do a better analysis of what the problem entailed,” spokesman Jay Blount said.

The memorial was opened again after repairs were made, but a few hours later, cracks reappeared, meaning there was more structural damage than realized.

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“There is a brow or an edge where the visitor ramp meets the memorial, and at that point, there’s been some fissures located on the exterior,” Blount explained. “After further investigation on the interior, it was determined that the structure is not supporting the loading ramp the way that we need.”

Visitors with tickets can still view a documentary film and participate in a narrated harbor tour, but they won’t be able to disembark until the repairs are made to the memorial.

“The amount of time needed to implement the repairs is unknown, but the NPS will continue to provide information to the public as our team of specialists works together to restore access as soon as possible,” according to a news release.

The USS Arizona memorial is the resting place for 1,102 of the 1,177 sailors and Marines killed on the USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.