Visitors turned away from USS Arizona Memorial due to government shutdown

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The impact of the government shutdown is already being felt in the state’s tourism industry.

A number of visitors who showed up at the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor Tuesday morning were turned around at the front gate. It’s one of many historic sites closed because of the shutdown.

Signs were posted right about opening time — closed until further notice because there is no federal budget in place.

“Yeah, I’m incredibly disappointed. We flew out yesterday. Something on the order of 5,000 plus miles to come and visit. And looking forward to not only visiting this site, but Volcanoes National Park as well on another island. Both of which are closed today,” Virginia visitor Eric Greenman said.

Greenman wasn’t alone. Foreign visitors were turned around at the gate as well.

The hallowed grounds at Pearl Harbor strike a chord with other countries involved in World War II.

“Oh, definitely as far as us being in the Pacific because of a lot of stuff that went down there. A lot of people’s grandfathers fought in that war,” New Zealand visitor Richard Green said.

On Tuesday, there was a silver lining in the cloud. Other historic sites at Pearl Harbor remain open for business.

“The USS Missouri, the Pacific Aviation Museum has a shuttle bus that goes from the Arizona Memorial parking area over to Ford Island,” Pacific Aviation Museum Director Ken Dehoff said.

The Pacific Aviation Museum did have to make a slight parking adjustment, moving just off the national park grounds.

“We’ve worked with the Navy. The Navy has been very cooperative in making sure that we’re able to continue to operate. It’s just unfortunate that the national park is not here to share the rest of the story,” Dehoff said.

Click here for more information on what attractions are opened and closed.

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