Pearl Harbor has been memorialized all across Arizona

Dec 7, 2021, 12:30 PM | Updated: 3:12 pm

PHOENIX – Pearl Harbor is approximately 3,000 miles from Arizona, but the naval base in Hawaii that came under Japanese attack 80 years ago has been memorialized all across the Grand Canyon State.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Japan launched a surprise strike on Pearl Harbor, killing more than 2,000 U.S. military personnel, including more than 1,000 aboard the USS Arizona, and prompting the U.S. to enter World War II.

The USS Arizona was built in the mid-1910s and named after the country’s 48th state, which was admitted in 1912.

Today, much of Interstate 10, which spans the state from New Mexico to California and passes through Tucson and Phoenix, is known as the Pearl Harbor Memorial Highway.

“That designation of I-10 across much of Arizona as the Pearl Harbor Memorial Highway came about when state lawmakers passed a bill in the mid-1990s,” Arizona Department of Transportation spokesman Doug Nintzel told KTAR News 92.3 FM in 2018.

“ADOT’s Pearl Harbor Memorial Highway signs first went up in 1995, so our state has been honoring survivors of the attack for more than 20 years. We’d like to think that it’s also been an honorable way for the state to remember those who gave their lives on that day.”

The only portion of I-10 that isn’t doesn’t have the Pearl Harbor Memorial Highway signs is the stretch through metro Phoenix.

“The Phoenix area I-10 has the names of Maricopa and also Papago,” Nintzel said.

Artifacts salvaged from the USS Arizona can be found across the state, too.

The Arizona State Capitol Museum in downtown Phoenix has an exhibit about the USS Arizona that includes the American flag, silver service and other artifacts from the ship.

There’s also a tribute to the USS Arizona outside the state Capitol in Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza, where a mast, anchor and gun barrel from the battleship are on display.

Another USS Arizona monument resides in Glendale. The Veterans War Memorial in the West Valley suburb includes pieces that were salvaged from the ship.

In Tucson, one of two bells from the USS Arizona is housed at the University of Arizona Student Union Memorial Center and is rung annually the Sunday before the Pearl Harbor anniversary and after each home victory by the school’s football team.

The other bell is at the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu. The national landmark is currently closed for a dock repair project and is expected to reopen in March.

Editor’s note: This story was originally published on Dec. 7, 2018.

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USS Arizona flag at the Arizona Capitol Museum. (Wikipedia Commons Photo/Marine 69-71 at en.wikipedia) USS Arizona tea service at the Arizona Capitol Museum. (Wikipedia Commons Photo/Marine 69-71 at en.wikipedia) Veterans War Memorial in Glendale, Arizona. (Wikipedia Commons Photo/Marine 69-71 at en.wikipedia) USS Arizona anchor at Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza in Phoenix. (Wikipedia Commons Photo/Marine 69-71 at en.wikipedia) USS Arizona gun barrel at Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza in Phoenix. (Wikipedia Commons Photo/Marine 69-71 at en.wikipedia) USS Arizona mast at Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza in Phoenix. (Wikipedia Commons Photo/Marine 69-71 at en.wikipedia) USS Arizona bell at the University of Arizona in Tucson. (Wikipedia Commons Photo/Marine 69-71 at en.wikipedia) USS Arizona circa 1920s.
 (Public Domain Image)               FILE - This Dec. 7, 2010 file photo shows the the USS Arizona Memorial with its floating dock, left foreground, at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu on Oahu in Hawaii. Tours on the memorial have been suspended indefinitely after a vessel struck and damaged the dock Wednesday, May 27, 2015, the National Park Service said. The Navy command overseeing the hospital ship involved in the mishap will send investigators to Hawaii Saturday, May 30, 2015 probe what happened. The U.S. Coast Guard has started its own probe because civilian tugboats were involved.(AP Photo/Marco Garcia, File)
            A Navy sailor is seen as the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, the USS Halsey, passes the USS Arizona Memorial, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, the 75th anniversary of the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor initiating the War in the Pacific. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia) FILE - This Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017 file photo shows the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)

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Pearl Harbor has been memorialized all across Arizona