A relic from the USS Arizona brings fallen Colorado sailors closer to home

August 28, 2023
Pearl Harbor AnniversaryPearl Harbor AnniversaryMarco Garcia/AP Photo
A gun turret base from the USS Arizona is seen on Dec. 7, 2011, the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

A small artifact with a big history is scheduled to arrive in Colorado Tuesday morning.

The relic is a piece of steel from the battleship USS Arizona, which sank at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. It will be flown to DIA early Tuesday and will travel under military escort to the Colorado Freedom Memorial in Aurora, a site that honors all Coloradans killed in battle since statehood.

Forty-one people from Colorado died in the Pearl Harbor attack, including 32 who are entombed in the Arizona. The freedom memorial’s founder, Rick Crandall, said having the relic in the state is a symbolic way of bringing the sailors home.