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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    USS Arizona mall memorial to open by 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor

    Carmen Valencia
    The U.S.S. Arizona Memorialundergoing construction on the UA mall on Monday, Sept. 19. It’s projected finish date will be Nov. 30, 2016.

    The USS Arizona mall memorial team plans to have the altered memorial project completed no later than Nov. 30, just in time for the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

    The memorial was made in remembrance of the 1,177 sailors and marines that died serving on the USS Arizona on Dec. 7, 1941 during the attacks on Pearl Harbor. 

     “The initial concept was to embed 1,177 bronze medallions inscribed with the names and details of the sailors and marines killed onboard into the outline of the ship on the mall,” said project designer, David Carter. “That concept was adjusted in the middle of the summer.” 

    The medallions will now be displayed waist-high in a plaza at the center of the mall. 

    The plaza dissects the Student Union Memeorial Center and serves as a walkway that will take you directly to the memorial plaza, according to Charles Albanese, dean emeritus of the UA College of Architecture and UA project liaison. 

    Carter said this change has its advantages.

    “The memorial will be more accessible,” Carter said. “People won’t have to get down on their hands and knees to read the inscriptions. This display will also be adjacent to the USS Arizona bell.” 

    He added that being able to see the medallions all together will be more impactful, especially for students, many of whom share the average age of the men who perished on the USS Arizona. 

    “I certainly hope it resonates for students,” said Sean Powell, battalion commander for the UA Navy ROTC program. “It’s definitely humbling for me to know that a lot of the men who died on the ship were younger than me.”

    RELATED: UA’s Navy ROTC tours new USS Arizona exhibit

    Now that construction of the memorial is underway, some students and staff are apprehensive about the project. 

    “I’m not sure what significance this display has 75 years later,” said Michael Schaller, UA regents professor of history. “We should focus more on the meaning of fighting against totalitarianism. Making a public display of these names isn’t really necessary.” 

    Students seem to be more concerned with the memorial hindering events that take place on the mall throughout the year. 

    “The outline on the mall will be made of a rubberized material similar to that of a running track, which will be level with the lawn,” Albanese explained. 

    He said the mall will remain totally open once construction is completed and nothing will be disturbed.

    Upon completion of the project, the UA will hold a ceremony at the USS Arizona mall memorial on Dec. 4. 

    “The plan is to have a ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 4 as a prelude to the 75th anniversary in Pearl Harbor,” Carter said. He added that USS Arizona survivor Lauren Bruner was very happy with the progress on the memorial and hopes to be able to visit during the ceremony. 

    RELATED: USS Arizona survivor Lauren Bruner comes to UA

    Albanese believes the memorial will be impactful for everyone who sees it. 

    “It’s going to be subtle but very powerful,” he said.

    Follow Jessica Blackburn on Twitter.

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