Honolulu/Oahu Memorial Day Events & Activities 2012


For current year events, click this link —> Oahu/Honolulu Memorial Day Weekend

Honolulu, Oahu is the place to be for Memorial Day weekend. From Punchbowl to Pearl Harbor, you’ll find meaningful ways to honor the spirit of the holiday.

Wondering what’s going on?  Here are my top suggestions of where to go and what to do for Memorial Day weekend.

Memorial Day Events on Monday May 28, 2012

 Punchbowl – National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific Local boy scouts honor Memorial Day by decorating the graves with more than 50,000 fresh floral leis that are hand sewn by local residents and school children.The Royal Hawaiian Band will perform on Memorial Day between 8am and 9am.  At 8:30am on Memorial Day, the Mayor of Honolulu hosts a special Memorial Day Ceremony. Military jets will conduct a low-altitude fly over at Punchbowl to commemmorate the annual event.  Preceding the fly over will be a rifle volley at approximately 9:15 a.m., which will last about five minutes.  For Memorial Day, Punchbowl expands their opening hours to 7am to 7pm. Parking will be at a premium, so I recommend you consider taking a bus. See this link for details on the special bus service for this event.  For more information, contact the Department of Parks and Recreation at 808-768-3002

Lantern Floating Ceremony at Magic Island at Ala Moana Beach Park – This unique Memorial Day opportunity will offer a beautiful and peaceful remembrance of those who gave their lives for their country as well as memories of loved ones who have passed away. The 90-minute ceremony starts at 6pm. It is free and open to the public. For more details and watching the livestream of this event, see this link.

Lanterns on the ocean
Lanterns floating at Ala Moana Beach Park – photo courtesy of Nā Lei Aloha Foundation and Shinnyo-en

Things to Do on Oahu for Memorial Day Weekend — May 25 – 28

USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor – Visiting this memorial is certainly a memorable way to honor Memorial Day. Admission is free. I highly recommend that you get there early in the morning as holidays are particularly popular times to visit. The Visitor Center is open from 7am to 5pm, but the timed programs to the memorial begin at 8am and run through 3pm. Be prepared for your visit by reading Visiting the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor.

USS Missouri in Pearl Harbor— The retired battleship, USS Missouri, has played a important role in US history, making it a great place to visit in honor of the day. Visiting hours are from 8am to 5pm. See this link for directions and ticket pricing details as well as my article with advice for touring the Mighty Mo. In honor of Memorial Day, military members will receive free admission with military identification.

Pacific Aviation Museum in Pearl Harbor — This museum showcases aircraft that has been important to the US military history. The Pacific Aviation Museum is open daily from 9am to 5pm. See this link for ticket pricing details. On Memorial Day, from 10am to 2pm, you’ll have an opportunity to see the Home of the Brave Quilt Project, plus sign a quilt that will be presented to the family of a fallen Hawaii soldier. Memorial Day is Military Appreciation Day with free admission to military members and their family with valid military identification.

 USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park in Pearl Harbor – Dubbed the Pearl Harbor Avenger, the USS Bowfin was an attack vessel in WWII. Open daily from 7am to 5pm. In honor of Memorial Day, military members will receive free admission with military identification.

If you’ll be in Waikiki on Friday night, May 25, start your holiday weekend off with a bang by catching the free fireworks show at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

Though not necessarily Memorial Day-ish, it’s worth mentioning that the 50th State Fair kicks off on Memorial Day weekend on May 25 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. The fair includes rides, food and entertainment.


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