UPDATE: For 2019 events, click this link —> Oahu Memorial Day 2019
If you’ll be on Oahu for Memorial Day, you’ll find some great opportunities to honor the spirit of the day. Here, we’re recommending Memorial Day events as well as things to do and see over the weekend with a significance towards honoring the intent of the holiday.
— Events on Memorial Day, May 25, 2015 —
Honolulu Mayor’s 66th Annual Memorial Day Ceremony at Punchbowl
This service is held at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, which is also more commonly called Punchbowl. This event features local military dignitaries, local JROTC, military performances and a performance by the Royal Hawaiian Band. This event is free and open to the public. The service will take place from 8:30am to 9:30am at Punchbowl’s National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at 2177 Puowaina Drive in Honolulu. Parking will be extremely limited. Consider taking The Bus. See this link for supplemental service details for this event.
Lantern Floating Ceremony at Ala Moana Beach Park
The annual Memorial Day Lantern Floating Ceremony offers participants to come together to honor loved ones who have passed away. More than 6,000 floating lanterns are expected along with over 40,000 people attending this free event. This year’s ceremony starts at 6:45 pm at Magic Island at Ala Moana Beach Park. For those people who will be driving, free parking and shuttle service will be available at the Hawaii Convention Center. If you are staying in Waikiki, you might consider walking, especially if your hotel is on the western end of Waikiki or consider the Waikiki Trolley.
— Other things to see and do over Memorial Weekend —
Punchbowl National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific
Though we have already mentioned the Memorial Day morning ceremony at Punchbowl, you don’t have to wait for that event to visit this moving site. If you visit on the afternoon of Sunday, May 24, you may be able to see the grave sites draped with lei made by locals as well as an American Flag. The local boy scouts and girl scouts decorate the graves for Memorial Day. See this KHON story on the preparations for this annual project. See our post with advice for visiting Punchbowl.
USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor
We list a visit to the USS Arizona Memorial as one of the top things you should see and do on Oahu. It’s a very moving place to tour and can be an especially meaningful place to visit on 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 Mighty Mo played an important role in US history and is well worth touring. See this link for more information, directions and ticket pricing details.On Memorial Day, Monday, May 25, the Battleship Missouri Memorial will offer free admission to all Armed Forces members, including reserves, retirees, auxiliary, and dependents.
USS Missouri Memorial (left) and USS Arizona Memorial (right) in Pearl Harbor
Pacific Aviation Museum in Pearl Harbor
This museum displays aircraft that have been important to US military history. See this link for ticketing information.
USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park in Pearl Harbor
The Bowfin was an attack submarine vessel with significant history in WWII.
We hope you have a safe and meaningful Memorial Day.