To revitalize and preserve the War Memorial heritage of the Neal S. Blaisdell Center
Proposed Blaisdell Center redevelopment, incorporating Thomas Square. For more info see Blaisdell Center Master Plan.
Blaisdell Center war memorial signage recognized by Historic Hawaii Foundation's 2016 Preservation Honor Awards.
Honolulu City and County, U.S. Military rededicate site as war memorial
Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Johans Chavarro
HONOLULU – Service members and community members gathered at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu for a war memorial plaque rededication ceremony Nov. 10.
Originally dedicated on Sept. 12, 1964, as a living memorial to all of Hawaii's war veterans and war dead, acknowledgement and distinction of the Neal S. Blaisdell Center, formerly the Honolulu International Center, as a war memorial began to fade when the original memorial plaque went missing some time by 1970.
Approximately 51 years later from the original dedication in 1964, playing as they did in the original ceremony, the Royal Hawaiian Band began the rededication ceremony with the playing of the national anthem and "Hawaii Pono’i."....... Read more, plus photos, here
Replacement war memorial plaque at Blaisdell Center. First and second lines were added to original text.
Photo album of the rededication ceremony is posted on Facebook.
City Council Resolution supporting Blaisdell Center War Memorial rededication and historic documents: Here.
On Sept 12, 1964, the Neal S. Blaisdell Center, formerly the Honolulu International Center, was dedicated as a living Memorial to all of Hawaii's war veterans and war dead. A Memorial plaque, now missing, was installed with the following text:
“Honolulu International Center: Dedicated to All the Sons and Daughters of Hawaii Who Served Their Country in Time of War and in Special Tribute to Those Who Gave Their Lives in Order That Freedom and Justice Might Prevail Throughout the World.”
Reverend Abraham K. Akaka, on blessing this plaque honoring our war dead:
"Let our Honolulu International Center ever be a symbol of your aloha"
We didn’t just break this promise to our Honored war dead to never forget, we forgot that we made it in the first place!
- The original plaque is gone and knowledge of Blaisdell Center's memorial history is lost. All that is left of this history is the Blaisdell Center war memorial itself.
- Blaisdell Center has been hiding in plain site as Honolulu's War Memorial Auditorium complex for over 50 years.
- Originally meant to honor Hawaii's WWII and Korean War veterans, it is the only living Memorial in the state dedicated to all Hawaii war veterans.
- This long time forgotten War Memorial is now endangered by demolition.
The living Memorial: To serve the living while honoring the dead
Blaisdell Center - the Arena, Exhibition Hall, and Concert Hall - is the Memorial. It serves the living well. But that honor was lost for over 50 years..
Blaisdell Center added to 2014 Hawaii's Most Endangered Historic Places list: Here. It is threatened by demolition. The Arena and Concert Hall are eligible for listing on the State and National Register of Historic Places. The City and County of Honolulu is creating a master plan to redevelop the site.
We need your help!
- Education: The public must learn of the Blaisdell’s war memorial heritage.
- Remembrance: Show remembrance for our warriors at Blaisdell Center.
- Research: Find those who remember before they pass on. Find the missing plaque.
- Preservation: Preserve historic Blaisdell Arena and Concert Hall.
If you have stories, photos, or materials from Blaisdell Center’s history to share, please contact us!