World War II Memorial Dedication at Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza
December 7th, 2013
On December 7th, 2013 thousands of people filled Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza in Phoenix, Arizona to attend the World War II “Guns to Salute the Fallen” Memorial. The memorial consists of one original gun barrel from both the USS Arizona and the USS Missouri. The USS Arizona gun represents the start of WWII with the attack on Pearl Harbor and the USS Missouri gun represents the end of WWII as the ship in which the Japanese signed the unconditional surrender.
The dedication ceremony included a motorcycle cavalcade, laying of wreaths, a B-17 flyover and many other events to honor World War II Veterans. Arizona Secretary of State, Ken Bennett, spoke about the significance of each element of the memorial including the gun barrels, the nine nameplate pillars that represent the nine minutes in which the USS Arizona sank after being bombed at Pearl Harbor, and the 400 one-inch tiles that each represent 1,000 military personnel who died during World War II. In addition, Secretary Bennett acknowledged three of the nine living survivors of the Pearl Harbor attack that were in attendance at the memorial dedication.
SDB was asked by Secretary Bennett to take part in the construction of this historic memorial and SDB President, Dominic Spagnuolo gladly accepted his offer and donated the construction management and design services for the project. Thanks to the generosity of SDB and other Arizona firms, the State of Arizona was able to construct a memorial worthy of honoring our WWII service men and women at no cost to the Arizona tax payer. This project had an aggressive timeline with its groundbreaking ceremony on December 7th, 2012 and the dedication ceremony following exactly one year later on December 7th, 2013.