Gov. Jan Brewer’s signature on a bill clearing the way for the construction of a complete World War II Memorial in Phoenix has brought a vision to reality.

Over the last year, Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett and the Salute the Fallen Committee have worked to bring a 14-inch gun barrel from the USS Arizona and a 16-barrel from the USS Missouri to Phoenix for permanent display in Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza in front of the Arizona Capitol.

It’s their hope that adding two visible bookends from the war will encourage people to reflect and admire the strength and courage it takes to defend a nation.

Senate Bill 1126, signed into law by the governor recently, allows gun barrels from the historic battleships to be placed between the USS Arizona’s anchor and signal mast, which are currently located at either end of the planned memorial.

Over the next few months, the gun barrels will be transported from Virginia to Arizona, with Bennett attending the lift of the USS Arizona barrel in April.

To track the barrels’ progress and location as they travel their way across the country, visit

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