PEARL HARBOR (HawaiiNewsNow) - After 2 years of construction, the entire Pearl Harbor Visitor Center is finally finished. The new museum offers visitors a comprehensive look at the infamous attack and the aftermath.
When you walk into the new museum, you take a step back in time. Pieces of the past come to life with the help of modern day technology.
Historian Daniel Martinez shared, "I think the place will be sad. I think it will be inspirational. I think it will propel young people to learn more about America's history and Hawaii history."
The new museum and renovated movie theaters are still off-limits but the rest of the complex is already open to the public. The 56-million dollar facility replaces the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial Visitor Center which was slowly sinking.
Martinez added, "Our older building that is no longer here was pretty formidable, and I didn't think that friendly. This one really invites you to come in."
Some artifacts are being displayed for the first time in the expanded museum. There's even a photo of sentries guarding the KGMB studio and transmission tower in 1942, when Hawaii was under martial law.
Pearl Harbor survivors donated memorabilia and helped raise money for construction of the complex.
"We feel, with the completion of the building, with many of them coming here, many of the local people being able to come as well, that the promise is not only fulfilled, to the Pearl Harbor survivors but it's fulfilled to the people of Hawaii", explained Martinez.
The facility will serve as a lasting legacy for the aging survivors.
Martinez explained, "This is going to be that final kind of touch that we have now given them, this museum."
The grand opening and dedication of the visitor center will be held December 7th on the 69th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack.