Arizona dedicates World War II memorial - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Arizona dedicates World War II memorial

AZ Secretary of State Ken Bennett with veteran. (Source: CBS 5 News) AZ Secretary of State Ken Bennett with veteran. (Source: CBS 5 News)
(Source: CBS 5 News) (Source: CBS 5 News)
(Source: CBS 5 News) (Source: CBS 5 News)
(Source: CBS 5 News) (Source: CBS 5 News)
(Source: CBS 5 News) (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5/AP) -

A World War II memorial has been dedicated in Phoenix.

More than 2,000 motorcyclists and military veterans were on hand Saturday at Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza for a dedication ceremony.

The memorial features massive gun barrels from two U.S. battleships -- the USS Arizona and the USS Missouri.

A 14-inch gun is from the battleship USS Arizona, sunk at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, is on display as well as a 16-inch gun is from the battleship USS Missouri, on whose decks the Japanese signed the instrument of surrender in Tokyo Bay, Japan on Sept. 2, 1945, bringing World War II to a close.

Last March, the Arizona Air National Guard and B&B Sandblasting Inc. began restoration work on the historic gun barrels.

Names of about 2,000 Arizona military personnel who died during the war will be displayed on a steel structure between the gun barrels. It has taken a year to build the memorial.

There is also be a 405-inch sidewalk with each inch representing 1,000 American lives lost in the war.

The dedication ceremony caps a three-year effort to have a WWII memorial located near the state capitol.

"From the first day we learned that historic gun barrels from the USS Arizona and USS Missouri were rusting in a surplus yard, we've been working to create a memorial that honors the courage and sacrifice of the our WWII veterans," said Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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