Login

Register | Forgot Your Password? | Close
Register | Forgot Your Password? | Close

PHOENIX -- A two-year effort to erect a World War II memorial near the Arizona State Capitol will come to fruition with a dedication ceremony Dec. 7.

The ceremony will include the arrival of 2,000 motorcyclists from the American Legion and other veterans' groups, a B-17 flyover and the 108th Army Band, the Arizona Capitol Times reported.

It has taken a year to build the memorial, which features historic gun barrels from two U.S. battleships - the USS Arizona and the USS Missouri. Names of Arizona military personnel who died during the war will be displayed on a steel structure between the gun barrels.

The Arizona was sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor at the beginning of America's involvement in the war. Nine vertical pillars at the memorial represent the nine minutes it took for the ship to sink to the bottom of the harbor.

The memorial was championed by Secretary of State Ken Bennett after hearing from John Thomas, a former attorney in the Arizona House of Representatives, about the rusting relics in East Coast surplus yards. Bennett took action after learning the military treasures could be sold for scrap metal.

When Bennett began pursuing the acquisition of the USS Arizona gun barrel, the U.S. Navy first offered one from the USS Missouri, which was the site of the Japanese surrender ceremony that ended the war. Bennett continued to negotiate and eventually landed both.

"The concept that was developed displays the gun barrels to represent the beginning and end of the war with a steel structure in between presenting the names of those who perished," said Matt Roberts, a spokesman for the Secretary of State's Office. `"It's believed these two visible bookends from the war will encourage people to reflect and admire the strength and courage it takes to defend a nation."

It was last December that Bennett and other officials gathered for the groundbreaking ceremony.

Roberts said no tax dollars were used to construct the memorial.

"We've raised more than $600,000 in cash and in-kind contributions," he said.

Among the contributions was nearly $200,000 from the Veterans' Donation Fund, according to Dave Hampton, public information officer and legislative liaison for the Arizona Department of Veterans Services.

Hundreds of World War II veterans and several Pearl Harbor survivors are expected to attend the Dec. 7 ceremony.

Hampton called it a "fitting tribute to World War II survivors."

___

Information from: Arizona Capitol Times, http://www.arizonacapitoltimes.com

Associated Press,

share this story:
Attention KTAR.com Comment Users: We have recently changed our comments boards.
We would like you to be part of the conversation and The Voice of Arizona by logging in with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing KTAR (Arizona Sports) account members will need to create a Disqus account or use one of the aforementioned social media logins. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus

World Class Arizona

  • Dignity Health

    World Class People. World Class Company. Excellent care, delivered with compassion, for all in need.
  • CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company

    SCF Arizona has a new name. They are now CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company.
  • Taylor Morrison

    World Class People. World Class Company. We are a national home builder committed to building homes inspired by you.
  • Go Daddy

    World Class People. World Class Company. Go Daddy is a Fortune 100 "Best Companies to Work For."
  • Avnet

    World Class People. World Class Company. Here's information on a Fortune 500 company from Arizona.

Voice For A Better Arizona

  • Working For Arizona

    The business and economics of Arizona at the start of 2014 and looking forward.
  • Arizonans In Need

    Putting a focus on charities and organizations who provide help and/or need your help to fulfill their missions.
close

Share: