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New USS Arizona memorial opens at Salt River

The Salt River Indian Community became the recipient of the USS Arizona’s original boathouse.

PHOENIX — There is a new memorial at Salt River, and it honors the brave people who served aboard the USS Arizona which sank in the attack at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

The dedication ceremony was Friday.

“United States Senator Martha McSally arriving,” the emcee announced over the loudspeaker.

Senator McSally was one of at least a few distinguished guests. Many others filled in under the tent at the USS Arizona Memorial Gardens at the Talking Stick Entertainment District.

“Certainly this is a time honor those who have departed and those still missing in action,” the emcee said.

The sound of bells chiming followed.

The Salt River Indian Community became the recipient of the USS Arizona’s original boathouse.

It was once part of the memorial built at Pearl Harbor in 1951, and it's the only piece to ever be given to a tribal community.

Around it were well-lit ballasts in the gardens with a meaning that goes beyond beauty.

“When you see them lit, it represents an individual, an individual that lost their life. From the numbers that I received, 1,177 lives were lost that day,” Martin Harvier, the President of the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community said.

Those were the lives lost on the USS Arizona alone. More than 1,000 more would also fall at Pearl Harbor.

“Come and visit the gardens to think about those and their families that may have served, think about those that paid the ultimate sacrifice…but it’s not only for us as a community, but it’s also for everyone,” Harvier said.

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