Preserving history is an important function of the Arizona Capitol Museum. One of the most popular exhibits in the museum is a display of USS Arizona artifacts and Secretary of State Ken Bennett, who oversees the division of the state library, would like to see the collection of World War II artifacts expanded by two: A gun from the USS Arizona and a gun from the USS Missouri. The guns would be displayed as a part of WWII exhibit representing the beginning and end of the war.
Acting on information that the historic guns from the USS Arizona and USS Missouri could be sold for scrap metal, Bennett has rekindled the possibility of acquiring the military artifacts for display in Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza in Phoenix. Bennett hopes that the addition of the guns from the Arizona and Missouri will encourage people to reflect on the magnitude of World War II and admire the strength and courage it takes to defend a nation.
Due to their weight, length and location in Virginia, the guns will require special permits, lifting equipment and transportation logistics.
Several local companies have expressed interest helping Bennett with the project, but much remains to be worked out if the guns are to be in Phoenix by Dec. 7, the 70th anniversary of the sinking.
Bennett has launched a website, www.gunstosalutethefallen.com, along with popular social networks like Facebook and Twitter where people can track the project and find out how to make a contribution.