Sacrifice For Freedom


Annual Program Offers Immersive Student-Teacher Learning Focused on WWII History

The Pearl Harbor Historic Sites, in partnership with National History Day, will host 16 student-teacher teams from across the country this July as part of Sacrifice for Freedom®. The program provides students and teachers the opportunity to visit Hawaii and experience history first-hand at Pearl Harbor and other unforgettable World War II sites. It is offered at no cost to the educators and students.

The Pearl Harbor Historic Sites has created a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of raising $80,000 to provide travel, lodging, educational programming, and Hawaii experiences for the 16 competitively chosen student/teacher teams selected to participate this summer. All donations are greatly appreciated and 100 percent tax-deductible in the U.S.

Sacrifice for Freedom®: World War II in the Pacific Student & Teacher Institute program is designed by National History Day® (NHD) to educate students about the sacrifice of war, the cultural history of Hawai‘i and the legacy of Silent Heroes®, who are buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) in Honolulu.

Prior to the institute, students select and research the lives of a Silent Hero. After a week of being steeped in WWII history, students then give a eulogy at the servicemember’s grave.

Past participants noted the institute provides a significant professional development experience and that the research and Hawaii-based learning activities challenged their thinking and expanded their perspective on history.

“These students and teachers spend months learning about people from their communities who died during World War II and all of the historic events that took place in the Pacific,” said Mike Carr, President and CEO of the USS Missouri Memorial Association. “It is very fulfilling to see our younger generations so interested in history and dedicated to honoring all our Silent Heroes. This is a great program to support, and we encourage everyone to do the same.”

Traditionally, the nonprofit organizations that comprise The Pearl Harbor Historic Sites have covered the costs for Sacrifice for Freedom®. This year, however, as the organizations attempt to rebuild from the pandemic, The Pearl Harbor Historic Sites asks for the public’s help in sharing the values of our Greatest Generation with the leaders of tomorrow.

For more information about the program, click here.

To support the program, donate here.

About the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites
Welcoming more than 1.5 million visitors each year, the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites include three independent memorials and operated by private, nonprofit organizations. Together, in partnership, they carry forth the legacies of several of our nation’s most treasured icons, enduring tributes to the valor and sacrifices of our veterans during a time when the future of our nation and the world truly hung in the balance. The result is a powerful visitor destination and cumulative educational experience that has grown. For more information, visit

2021 Program: Testimonial Excerpts 

...the Sacrifice for Freedom experience helped me appreciate military experience and especially what it meant to those who served in World War II. Through our readings, research, online sessions, talking to veterans and visiting historic sites, I now more fully understand and appreciate the sacrifices that are made to preserve the freedom of the American people.

- Helene Achgill

...Spending the night on the USS Missouri was hands down one of the coolest things I have ever done. I am so glad I had the opportunity to see what life used to be like for everyone on board and learn more about the ship. Being able to go on the deck where the Japanese surrendered to end World War II was a very special moment for me. 

- Kate Dickerson

...Beginning our day on the USS Arizona and ending it on the USS Missouri brought the events of December 7, 1941 into the real-world. I still can't believe how immersive that experience was! Walking the decks and rooms, raising the colors, eating in the galley, and sleeping in the bunks were truly unforgettable. 

Participating in this program has been a life changing experience for me, and you all helped make that happen.

- Brenton Fitzpatrick

We ask that all guests remember to stay a safe distance from other visitors while exploring the ship.

As the state of this public health emergency changes from day to day, we will remain focused on keeping our employees and our visitors safe, healthy, and informed. For more information on how to safely visit the Mighty Mo, click here.

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