The Neal S. Blaisdell Center is a community center that has served Honolulu since 1964. Owned by the City and County of Honolulu, it is composed of 3 separate buildings: the Arena, Exhibition Hall, and Concert Hall. Both Arena and Concert Hall are eligible for listing on the State and National Register of Historic Places.
Blaisdell Center is the heart and soul of the city, a gathering place for residents and visitors alike for a variety of cultural and community events.
Many have witnessed glorious concerts, riveting sporting events, and experienced their high school graduations there, among the many trade shows and numerous other events. The Arena hosted Elvis Presley's ground breaking Aloha from Hawaii concert, and President Barack Obama graduated from high school there.
If there is any place in Hawaii best suited to serve as a living Memorial to all of the state's war veterans, it is Blaisdell Center.
The Blaisdell stood 50-odd years as a forgotten War Memorial. Once the speeches were made, the plaque unveiled, and prayers made to never forget, it was consecrated as a Memorial, and never should have been forgotten. It is the only living Memorial in the state dedicated to ALL off Hawaii's fallen.
Now that it has been officially recognized as a War Memorial and a replacement plaque rededicated, it is important that this designation is not forgotten again.
The story of how Blaisdell Center was planned, dedicated, and forgotten as a Memorial is both fascinating and heartbreaking. As the only known remaining witness to the memorial dedication is Blaisdell Arena itself, we hope we can do this story justice.