The Arizona Silent Service Memorial, honoring veterans of Submarine Service who died in the line of duty, will soon be “bursting out of the water on an emergency ascent.”
The memorial, consisting of concrete, steel, copper and other materials, depicts a submarine described as coming out of water, according to a press release.
Recently transported to Wesley Bolin Park by Sunland Asphalt & Construction, after six years of design, construction and fundraising, the monument's formal dedication on April 17, 2021 is planned to honor the “more than 3,950 lives lost on submarines since the inception of the sub,” the release said.
The memorial, measuring 14-feet long and 11-feet tall, has been a work in progress. Crews used a large crane to lower it onto a truck from Nate Decker’s Art studio in Anthem where the longtime copper artist spent the last several months completing the project.
The original rendering of the design, which was started by artist, Renee Palmer-Stevens, has changed over the years, the release said, crediting Mr. Decker for redesigning the memorial to be outfitted with copper, representing Arizona and its copper state heritage.
“I am so honored to be part of this project and to be able to pay my respects for all those who serve to protect our freedom,” said Mr. Decker in a prepared statement.
“My dedication in completing this is only a fraction of the dedication of a submariner and the vets lost for our nation.”
He described how the copper had to be heated, hammered and then sculpted to form the waves, which represent an emergency blow.
“I painted the copper, to create the texture and color you see as the finish. The walls are faced in copper and I used sulfuric acid with ammonia to paint it and create the blue representation of the ocean,” Mr. Decker said, noting that the copper work took more than 800 hours for him to complete.
Commissioned three years ago by the Arizona Silent Memorial, Mr. Decker worked with artist Palmer-Stevens and Jim Martin to redesign the monument in copper.
The concrete base was delivered to his studio in February by Sunland Asphalt while awaiting the state’s final approval, before he could begin building the monument.
Castle Steel made the scaled down submarine that sits on top of the concrete base, according to the release.
After Sunland delivered to the memorial to Capitol, Mr. Decker painted the 80-foot Arizona flag on the radius wall that adorns the monument, detailed the release.
Mr. Decker added that several Sunland Asphalt employees were instrumental in building the concrete base and doing all the concrete, block and brick work, as well as the plaques on site.
For more information or to donate, visit Arizona Silent Service Memorial: arizonasilentservicememorial.org.