University of Arizona Now Home to Pearl Harbor Memorial

University of Arizona Now Home to Pearl Harbor Memorial

This past Sunday, the crewmen aboard the battleship USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor were honored at a memorial dedication at the University of Arizona.

Wednesday, December 7, marks the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, where 1,177 sailors and marines perished on the battleship.

Only 355 of the USS Arizona’s crew survived the horrific attack, and only five of the men are still alive today. The University of Arizona memorial features two major parts, one being a red concrete rail outline the deck of the ship around the edges of the campus mall. This gives visitors and students an idea of the battleship’s impressive size. The surrounding brick walls feature medallions bearing the names of the men who lost their lives, 1, 177 pendants in all.

The memorial was organized by William Westcott, a Tucson-based financial planner, who wanted to honor veterans, and specifically, the USS Arizona battleship. The dean emeritus of University of Arizona’s College of Architecture, Charles Albanese, worked with Westcott and designer David Carter to sketch an idea and raise enough private funding to complete the memorial in time for Pearl Harbor Day.

The USS Arizona has quite the presence at the second-largest University in the state. The ship’s bell hangs in a tower over the student union, having been saved from a salvage yard by an alumnus, and one study room in the union displays artifacts and photographs from the ship.

The dedication ceremony on Sunday featured the flyover of two jets from the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, as well a a flag raising over the memorial and a bell ringing for the eight Arizonians who perished on the ship.

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