Today, December 6, the day before the attack on Pearl Harbor, I decided to visit the semi-new Memorial to the Battleship USS Arizona at the University of Arizona. There were 1177 lives lost that day aboard the USS Arizona. This was almost half of the total of 2403 lives that were lost in the attack that day. Most of the crew of the USS Arizona that died that day remain at the bottom of Pearl Harbor. Few of you who are reading this will remember that day. It was December 7, 1941, 82 years ago the year this was written.
Seaman James Van Horn was one of those young men unlucky enough to be stationed aboard the Arizona when it went down. He was a Tucsonan, only 17 years old and 6 months into his service. The Arizona was one of the ships most laden with munitions. A Japanese bomb hit the deck and the resulting explosion killed most everyone on board. There were only 335 survivors, only 93 of which were on board at the time, and as of this writing, the last of which is Lou Conter, 101 years young.
Some interesting facts about this Memorial is that the mall is shaped like the ship, outlined in brick around the mall itself. The Arizona was over 600 feet, 25 feet longer than the other Battleships. The Memorial Mall has been left open for unimpeded activities. While we were there, frisbee was being played by a group of students, robots patiently roamed the grounds, delivering food to who knows where, students made their way to classes and a group of new students was apparently being oriented to the campus.
The USS Arizona Mall Memorial is located near the Student Union, the Food Court and Old Main, which was the first and is the oldest building on the University itself.
Parking should be easy. Just south of Mountain and Speedway are two parking garages, which look like they were mostly occupied by students.