View historic D-Day military artifact at Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza
PHOENIX - – On the 70th Anniversary of D-Day, Arizonans have the unique opportunity to connect with history and view a special WWII military artifact in downtown Phoenix.
Seven decades ago, 20,000 men stormed Utah Beach under the guns from the USS Nevada. At that time during the war, a barrel originally from the USS Arizona was aboard. That historic barrel, (41L3) is a part of the newly completed WWII Memorial at the state capitol in Phoenix.
After nearly three years of planning and development, Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett and the Guns to Salute the Fallen committee brought a vision of a complete WWII Memorial to reality. The Memorial, coincidently dedicated six months ago, features a steel structure containing the names of the approximately 2000 Arizonans who died in the war flanked by historic gun barrels from the USS Arizona and USS Missouri which symbolically represent the beginning and end of the war.
“From the first day we learned that historic gun barrels from the USS Arizona and USS Missouri were rusting in a surplus yard, we worked to create a memorial that honors the courage and sacrifice of the our WWII veterans,” said Secretary Bennett. “We believe we accomplished just that, and would urge people to visit the memorial and reflect on the strength and courage it must have taken on that extraordinary day 70 years ago.
“Too often we forget to honor our Nation’s fallen soldiers who gave us the opportunity live under the blanket known throughout the world as Freedom. That freedom remains intact today for one simple reason -- the men and women or our Armed Forces.”
The WWII Memorial is located within Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza at the state capitol in Phoenix.