If your December is like mine, your days (especially weekends) are chock-full of events. Not only are we swamped with holiday gatherings, but the (typically) nice weather ensures that Arizonans emerge to revel as much of the rest of the country shovels.
If you can fit it in, an event tomorrow morning (Saturday, December 7) is worth your time. That is when a World War II Memorial is formally dedicated on the grounds of the state Capitol.
Sited on the Wesley Bolin Plaza, the new installation is comprised of gun barrels of the U.S.S. Arizona and U.S.S. Missouri, as well as installations honoring Arizona veterans.
A website tells more about the Memorial and the events surrounding it.
Leading the dedication of the site called “Guns to Salute the Fallen” will be Secretary of State Ken Bennett.
Here is a description of the efforts via Secretary Bennett’s office:
“For nearly three years, the Secretary has spearheaded the effort to build a complete WWII Memorial in Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza. Hundreds of individuals and companies in Arizona including Phoenix Rotary 100, SDB Contracting Services, Marco Crane & Rigging and BNSF Railways donated thousands of dollars in cash and in-kind services to build the memorial which features the names of Arizona’s WWII soldiers who died and historic gun barrels from the USS Arizona and USS Missouri.”
“Saturday’s events include the formal dedication ceremony which begins at 9:45 a.m. and is preceded by a DPS escorted commemorative motorcycle ride finishing at the plaza. More than 1000 riders plan to attend. The riders will be greeted by The Saluting Marine, Staff Sgt. Tim Chambers.”
Their office predicts that thousands of people will attend. So keep this in mind: Bring a lawn chair, as the only reserved seating /parking will be for WWII veterans.
Here is a complete listing of events:
- 7:48 a.m. Run to the Guns departs EagleRiders, 1000 N. McClintock Drive, Tempe
- 8:30 a.m. Run to the Guns arrives state capitol complex
- 9:00 a.m. Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Flag is installed in a case in the Relic Room of the USS Arizona.
- 9:45 a.m. WWII Memorial Dedication & Pearl Harbor Day Remembrance Ceremony begins
- *9:50 a.m. Arizona Capitol Museum will play a live feed of the Pearl Harbor Observance from Hawaii
- 10:55 a.m. B-17 Flyover by CAF (Commemorative Air Force, Airbase Arizona)
- 11:45 a.m. Approximate end of ceremony
- 1:00 p.m. American Concert & BBQ in celebration of the WWII Memorial and fundraiser for veterans, featuring Jimmie Van Zant of Lynyrd Skynyrd – 1000 N. McClintock, Tempe
Some maps will help you get there (and park); click to enlarge them. Have a wonderful weekend.