NEAR SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community near Scottsdale announced the opening of the USS Arizona Memorial Gardens this Saturday, Feb. 22.
The memorial honors the people who served aboard the USS Arizona that sank on Decemeber 7, 1941 during the attack on Pearl Harbor. It pays tribute to, and recognizes the individuals aboard the ship that day; sharing their stories, their efforts and their sacrifice.
The Salt River Indian Community became the recipient of a large part of the superstructure of the USS Arizona (BB-39), identified as the original Boat House, and built the Gardens around it. The Boat House relic was part of the original memorial built at Pearl Harbor in 1951 and is the largest and only piece ever given to a tribal community.
"It is a great honor that the land of the O’odham (Pima) and Piipaash (Maricopa) will be the final resting place and home to the Boat House relic of the USS Arizona," said Martin Harvier, President, SRPMIC. "The USS Arizona Memorial Gardens at Salt River as a whole, will honor the brave soldiers who were aboard the USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor, and all military veterans who have served our great country."
The USS Arizona Memorial Gardens at Salt River spans the exact length and width of the USS Arizona with over 1,500 commemorative columns, outlining the actual perimeter of the USS Arizona. The project extends across the entry drive of Salt River Fields to the north and juts into the lake on the south. Each column is representative of a life aboard the ship that day. In addition, there are gaps within the column outline representing an individual who survived the attack.
The Gardens will be open daily from dawn until dusk and is open to the public. The public opening of the Gardens will coincide with Spring Training Opening Day at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, which will also be Veterans Appreciation Day at the Fields.
The Memorial will open to the public on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 7455 N. Pima Road in Scottsdale.