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USS Arizona Mall Memorial officially dedicated

Posted at 10:24 PM, Dec 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-05 00:24:48-05

December 7, 1941 -- a day that changed lives across the nation; and a day that took the lives of 1,177 servicemen aboard the USS Arizona, based in Pearl Harbor.

Now, approaching the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, a memorial for the fallen sailors and marines at the University of Arizona. On Sunday, three days before the anniversary, the USS Arizona Mall Memorial was dedicated and unveiled to hundreds of people -- some of them veterans, some of them relatives of servicemen killed that day.

One of the people in attendance was Tim Hodges -- who flew in from Texas Sunday morning before the ceremony. The reason? 

"My uncle, Garris Hodges, is on one of these emblems today," he said.

One of the many bronze medallions, memorializing the fallen in the middle of the memorial.

Congresswoman Martha McSally, one of the keynote speakers at the event. She stressed the importance of this memorial, urging students to understand why it's there.

"We've got to continue on with their legacy and honor them," McSally said. "And there's no better fitting way to do that, than this memorial here at the University of Arizona."

Hodges hopes students will take a moment to stop and think about the sacrifices these men made while serving their country. Many of them between 17-22 years old.

"When you were 17, 18, 19 years old, what were you doing?" Hodges said. "You know, I was going to class making B's and driving around the street at night with my friends. These guys were already there."

Already there, making a sacrifice for something greater than themselves.