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Commission OKs WWII memorial on the Capitol Mall

Commission OKs WWII memorial at Arizona Capitol Mall

While the USS Arizona’s destruction heralded the United States’ entry into World War II, the USS Missouri closed out the war as the site of Japan’s surrender. Secretary of State Ken Bennett says guns from both ships can illustrate the beginning and end of the war if displaying alongside the USS Arizona’s anchor in Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza. (Photo Courtesy of the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office)

A commission charged with overseeing the state Capitol grounds has approved plans to create a World War II memorial on the Capitol Mall.

The Legislative Governmental Mall Commission’s approval late last week means engineering and construction can begin with a planned groundbreaking of December 7, 2012.

The memorial will feature gun barrels from the battleships USS Arizona and USS Missouri.

The Arizona was sunk in the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Its guns were salvaged. The Missouri was where the surrender ceremony to end the war in the Pacific took place.

Secretary of State Ken Bennett has spearheaded the effort to acquire the big guns and use them for a memorial along with a committee called “Guns to Salute the Fallen.”

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