Phoenix World War II memorial: Secretary of State Ken Bennett talks memorial's dedication

PHOENIX - Thousands of people, including military veterans, attended the dedication ceremony for a World War II memorial at Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza Saturday morning in Phoenix.

About 2,000 motorcyclists from the American Legion and other veterans' groups were a part of the memorial ceremony, including a flyover of a vintage B-17 bomber.

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

Names of 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.

Vito Colonna remembered that day when he lost a fellow sailor.

"I had no idea what happened," Colonna said. "All I know is I got thrown off the ship, the concussion threw me across the ship and I ended up in the ocean."

Colonna said the other sailor grabbed his hand but couldn't hold on.

The dedication ceremony caps a three-year effort to have a WWII memorial located near the state capitol. The memorial has been under construction for the last year.

Secretary of State Ken Bennett was among those in the motorcycle line, as well as one of the leaders behind the effort. He stopped by ABC15 Mornings to discuss his thoughts on the dedication, as well as the process it took to get here.


 
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