DENVER (KDVR) — A relic from the USS Arizona is coming to Denver to be displayed in the soon-to-be-built Colorado Freedom Memorial Education and Visitor Center.
The piece of steel honors the 41 Coloradans who died in the Dec. 7 attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, including 32 Coloradans who still lie aboard the USS Arizona.
On Aug. 29, the 18-by-24-inch piece of steel will be escorted off a plane at Denver International Airport by uniformed sailors from the Navy Reserve Center. From there, the Colorado Freedom Memorial is holding a “Colorado Breathing” ceremony.
The ceremony includes carrying the steel past a military receiving line to the panels displaying the names of what the steel represents, the first of Colorado’s fallen in World War II. It includes the 41 fallen Coloradans who passed away during the attack on Pearl Harbor.
“Upon arrival at DEN, the United flight will be greeted near its gate with a water-cannon salute from Denver Fire Rescue units stationed at DEN,” said CFM Executive Director Rick Crandall. “From the moment the steel arrives in Colorado, we intend to show the respect and reverence Coloradans who were killed in action deserve, including those still on the Arizona.”
The Colorado Freedom Memorial is in Aurora and is dedicated to all wars and branches of service with over 6,000 names of those who passed away on duty who were from Colorado.
The memorial’s expansion is set to open in 2025 with a theater, exhibit hall and classroom along with a display of 9/11 steel from the World Trade Center and the USS Arizona relic.