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USS Arizona Mall Memorial construction underway

Posted at 10:25 PM, Sep 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-10 01:25:38-04

Construction for the USS Arizona Mall Memorial is underway at the University of Arizona. The memorial will honor the 1,177 fallen US Marines and Navy Sailors who were killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II.

Some project participants, like Bill Wescott, believe it's only fitting that the memorial will be on a college campus.

"The overwhelming majority of the kids on the ship were between the ages of 17 and 22," Wescott said. "The overwhelming majority of the tens of thousands of students that cross that mall are the same age."

This memorial will be nearly to scale of the actual size of the USS Arizona's deck -- nearly 600 feet long. Putting that in perspective, that's the size of two football fields. It will be outlined with bronze medallions engraved with the names of the fallen servicemen. One former U of A college dean thinks the memorial paints a bigger picture of the history behind the times as well.

"It represents not just 1,177 young men," Dean Emeritus Charles Albanese said. "But it represents what the country went through during that particular time."

Wescott is hoping the students will walk along the mall, looking at the names of the marines and navy sailors that it memorializes. But more than that, he hopes it will inspire them to make the most of their lives ahead.

"Feel for themselves, the importance of being young with a lot of potential," Wescott said. "And recognize that the sacrifice made by those people, young with potential, vanished in an instant."

The dedication is set for Sunday, December 4th.