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Here’s where to find commemorative art for Pearl Harbor around the Union

Selena Quintanilla
One of the USS Arizona art pieces that make up the Student Union Memorial Center.

The UA is no foreigner when it comes to paying tribute to veterans, with the Student Union Memorial Center featuring a memorial plaque on its ground floor rotunda and a memorial adorned by dog tags chiming at the nearby roundabout.

The bombing of Pearl Harbor holds a special place in the UA’s heart, especially because 1,177 sailors died on the USS Arizona during the attack.

To commemorate Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona, the UA has installed memorials around the SUMC and hosted some events leading up to a ceremony of the USS Arizona Mall Memorial on the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

RELATED: 5 UA campus art installations to check out 

USS Arizona Mall Memorial

If you are a student, then you have probably crossed paths with the construction of the Arizona Mall Memorial on a regular basis.

The USS Arizona Mall Memorial will include a newly paved pathway across the mall for students and an interesting full-scale outline of the deck of the USS Arizona.

In the outline, the ship will include 1,177 medallions — one for each of the men who died on the ship “spaced one foot apart, flush with the lawns and walkways and directly beneath the USS Arizona ship’s bell hanging in the Student Union tower,” according to the memorial’s website.

This memorial is a unique testament to the battles of the 1,177 sailors who will be immortalized in bronze.

Susan Crane, a UA associate professor of modern European history, said that the fountain in front of the Old Main is actually a WWI memorial but that many students, alumni and faculty—up to 98 percent—don’t recognize it as such. This is why the new memorial could help spark students’ curiosity of the campus’s monuments and bring to light important reminders of the wars that the US has fought in.

“If you want to engage the current UA community in memory, building a new element of the SUMC memorial complex is a good way to do that,” Crane wrote. “The outline of the battleship, inscribed into the ground on the mall, in the grass, is a vivid way to recall the USS Arizona.”

RELATED: ‘Symbiosis’ art exhibit unites art and biology on Nov. 29

USS Arizona Bell

The USS Arizona bell, once a real bell used on the USS Arizona, is a visible artifact of the ship and a testament to the achievements of not only the marines and sailors, but also the UA and its community.

According to the bell’s plaque, it was salvaged by Wilber L. “Bill” Bowers before it was melted down in 1944 at the Puget Sound naval yard in Bremerton, Washington.

The bells is “rung seven times on the third Wednesday of every month at 12:07 p.m. in honor of the brave Marines and Sailors who gave their lives during the attack on Pearl Harbor, and to honor the outstanding achievements of the University of Arizona and its community,” according to the plaque.

USS Arizona Memorial Lounge

The USS Arizona Lounge is not only a convenient place to study, it is also a good place to reminisce and learn about the USS Arizona.

Dedicated on Feb. 19, 2003, the USS Arizona Memorial Lounge was built to commemorate the USS Arizona and the battle of Pearl Harbor and was made possible mainly through the donations and efforts of people who have served, according to the website where a glimpse of the items featured in the lounge can be seen.

It now holds multiple scale models of the USS Arizona alongside photographs of crew members, parts of the ship including christening bottles, shrapnel and even a uniform from a chief petty officer.

The Lounge continues to be a place of great history and does a good job of upholding the USS Arizona’s legacy through the pieces shown behind its glass cases.

“The Life and Legacy of the USS Arizona”

Special Collections at the UA Main Library has, according to UA News, “one of the largest collections of USS Arizona materials in the world” and is hosting an exhibition featuring numerous artifacts from the ship, including documents, photographs, a variety of logs and other memorabilia.

Similar to the USS Arizona Memorial Lounge, most of the pieces shown in the exhibit were donated by people who were associated with the ship during its lifetime.

The exhibit, which opened Aug. 29, will be open until Dec. 23 at the Main Library and has a companion exhibit online.

Follow Elizabeth Quinlan on Twitter.

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