Guns to salute the fallen - East Valley Tribune: Arizona

Guns to salute the fallen

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Posted: Sunday, August 14, 2011 12:00 pm | Updated: 7:34 am, Mon Aug 15, 2011.

Secretary of State Ken Bennett has undertaken a project to bring guns from the USS Arizona and USS Missouri to the Arizona Capitol Museum as part of a World War II exhibit representing the beginning and the end of the war.

According to a news release, Bennett started looking into acquiring the military artifacts for display in Arizona when he learned they might be sold for scrap metal.

"The attack on Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona propelled the United States to declare war on Japan, whose allies in turn, declared war on the United States. Four years later, the USS Missouri was the site of Japanese capitulation in Tokyo Bay bringing an end to World War II," Bennett said in the release. "These historic guns played a role in allied victories around the globe and shouldn't be melted down and recycled into soda cans. We can do better than that."

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. The costs for such an undertaking could be over $500,000, Bennett said. The project will be funded with private contributions and not with taxpayer dollars. Bennett hopes the guns will be in Phoenix by Dec. 7, the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor and sinking of the USS Arizona.

To make a contribution and follow the project, visit www.gunstosalutethefallen.com.

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