fateful day on December 7, 1941. Followed by a special commemorative wreath laying ceremony and a flyover by the historic B-17 Flying Fortress, “Sentimental Journey,” Sunday’s memorial in downtown Phoenix honored all veterans, including the men and women who died in the attack on Pearl Harbor that sank the USS Arizona. More than 21-hundred people died that day in an attack that lasted less than two hours.
Sunday’s memorial centered around two massive battleship gun barrels from the USS Arizona and the USS Missouri located at Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza. The gun barrels at the Phoenix World War Two Memorial are akin to “Bookends” according to Secretary of State Ken Bennett. The start of the war involved the USS Arizona on the shores of Pearl Harbor and the end of World War Two with USS Missouri. And Phoenix has them both.
The day was filled with patriotic music including Taps and the Star Spangled Banner. Our very own Secretary of State pulled out his guitar and sang the Tim McGraw song “Already Home.”
Ninety-nine-year-old A.V. Stockdale or “Stocky” to his friends is the oldest living survivor of the Pearl Harbor attack. His daughter, Robyn Bezanson brought him to the Pearl Harbor Memorial and spoke on his behalf. She says “Stockdale was on a PT boat and saw the Japanese fly in and start firing on the Destroyers. Stockdale is one of the first Patrol Torpedo boats to see a Japanese periscope during the attack.”