The USS ARIZONA MEMORIAL
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The USS Arizona Memorial
Memorial Photos from SFR Productions Collection
USS Arizona Memorial
After World War II the USS Arizona was all but forgotten. The US Navy
did not try to recover any more remains due to the cost, danger and the
fact that it would be almost impossible to identify any of the remains
recovered from the ship.
Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet, Admiral Arthur Radford, ordered a small
wooden platform be built on the hulk of the USS Arizona and a flagpole
attached to what remained of one of the mainmast tripod legs on March 7, 1950.
On December 7, 1950 Admiral Radford dedicated a plaque to the men of the
USS Arizona. On December 7, 1955 a plaque was placed on Ford Island and
dedicated to the men lost on the USS Arizona by the Navy Club in Hawaii.
Hawaii’s delegate, John Burns, introduced a bill to Congress for the
construction of a memorial in 1957. The bill was passed on March 15, 1958
and authorized the Navy to build a memorial and accept funds from the
Pacific War Memorial Commission.
A fund-raising effort for the new memorial went into full swing.
The television program “This is Your Life” focused on Rear Admiral Fuque
and the men of the USS Arizona in December of 1958. The show helped raise $95,000.
On March 25, 1961, Elvis Presley performed at Pearl Harbor’s Bloch Arena
and raised almost $65,000 for the memorial fund. The National Commander of
the AmVets, Harold Berc, lobbied Congress for the remaining money needed for
the memorial and they approved the final $150,000to finish the memorial.
Alfred Preis, designed the now famous memorial and work began in late 1960
and was completed in early 1962. The memorial was dedicated on Memorial Day
1962. The new memorial became very popular and long lines of visitors
became common. Many wanted to improve the memorial but were unable to fund
any projects and the Navy was now involved with the Vietnam War. Public
donations were unable to cover the cost and after years of discussion,
Congress approved to fund the memorial improvements.
On October 10, 1980 the new USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center was opened to
the public. The US Navy turned over the operation of the Memorial and Visitor
Center to the National Park Service. Millions of people from around the world
have visited the USS Arizona Memorial and the Visitor Center since it was
opened in 1980.
USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center Museum Photo Tour
USS Arizona Memorial Video Tour
Photos and Video of the USS Arizona Today
Arizona State Capitol Museum
The University of Arizona Student Union
Photos courtesy of the University of Arizona, Arizona State Capitol Museum, National Park Service Arizona Memorial and personal collections
Films courtesy of the National Park Service Arizona Memorial, National Park Service Submerged Resource Center and
SFR Productions "Pearl Harbor the Real Story" and "Pearl Harbor Revisited the USS Utah and USS Arizona"
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