Starting at noon Thursday, Aug. 27, the public will get its first glimpse of the Arizona Silent Memorial as it travels to the State Capitol, honoring veterans of submarine service who died in the line of duty.
Sunland Asphalt & Construction Inc. is transporting the memorial on a truck from an artist studio in Anthem to Wesley Bolin Park. The memorial will then be lowered by a crane into position, according to a release.
The memorial, which is 14 feet long and 11 feet tall, will still be under construction for several more weeks following its arrival.
Artist Renee Palmer Stevens, who designed the Anthem Veterans Memorial and several others in California, designed this memorial. She says the Arizona Silent Service Memorial incorporates concrete, steel, copper and other materials to depict a submarine bursting out of the water on an emergency ascent.
“The blue patina represents the deep ocean and is adorned with silver and gold dolphin plaques (enlisted men and officers) and the Great Seal of the United States," Ms. Palmer Stevens stated. "The wall is painted to represent our state flag. The blue is the ocean and within it, are the engraved blocks for all "lost boats" forever beneath the surface. The rays of the AZ flag honor all of those who have perished in the line of duty."
The memorial will honor the more than 3,950 lives have been lost on submarines since the inception of the sub, according to the release.
"It's been a privilege to work with and design a memorial for such brave Americans," Ms. Palmer Stevens stated. "Their service is highly unique in military history."
She said Submariner and Valley Resident Tim Moore was the driving force of the project for the past four years but died July 29, three days before the groundbreaking.
Valley based Sunland Asphalt has been the project’s biggest donor, contributing more than 3,000 hours and more than $100,000 to help make the memorial a reality, according to the release. The memorial has been in the works for six years and has taken a long time to get to this point.
“Our Submariners just like any all service members that we recognize, should have their own Memorial,” stated Kevin Fisher, senior project manager for Sunland Asphalt. “Sunland Asphalt is thankful to all the men and women who have served our country and paid the ultimate sacrifice. There was no question that we needed to do our part and donate as much manpower and funding as possible to make this a reality for our Submariners, who we thank you and honor for everything they have done to protect this country.”
On the veteran side, Arizona Silent Service Memorial Foundation Co-chairmen Chris Urness and Marcus Hensley took over the project after Mr. Moore died. The submarine veterans credit Sunland Asphalt with getting the memorial to this point.
“This memorial provides a space for reflection, honoring all submariners who have lost their lives beneath the ocean’s waves, many times of which the circumstances and locations will never be known,” Mr. Hensley stated. “For all those who visit, we hope it sheds some light on the tremendous sacrifice and bravery of submariners who voluntarily operate in the most hostile, demanding, and unforgiving environment on Earth, all in the service of their country.”
Others donors include:
Castle Steel (donated the submarine)
Old Castle Superlite
Freeport MacMoRan (copper)
WT Jenkins Landscaping
Nate Decker (copper artist)
Building Block Masonry
The engineering was donated by Jim Martin, Oscar Oliden and Andy DiLeo.
A formal dedication is planned for April 10, 2021.
For more information or to make a donation, visit Arizona Silent Service Memorial at https://www.arizonasilentservicememorial.org/.