Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release:
October 18, 2007
Marble Markers for USS Oklahoma Memorial
USS Oklahoma Survivor Paul Goodyear tells crowd "This is a
Monument Markers for USS Oklahoma Memorial
Headed to California, then on to Hawaii
truck carrying the first shipment of marble markers for the USS
Oklahoma Memorial at Pearl Harbor pulled away from the State
Capitol on Thursday escorted by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and
members of state and national bikers’ organizations. The
429 markers are engraved with the names of each of the men who
died in the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.
State Sen. Jim
Reynolds has worked with the USS Oklahoma Survivors organization since
his first term in office. He was the master of ceremonies for a brief ceremony
that took place before the truck carrying the markers left the State Capitol.
“All this group has ever wanted is a permanent memorial at Pearl Harbor
to pay tribute to the men who died in that attack nearly 66 years ago,” said
Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City. “I am overjoyed that after all these years
we’re nearing the end of that journey.”
Henry also spoke at the ceremony on Thursday. He was on hand when the
memorial design was first unveiled at the State Capitol in 2006, and helped obtain
$100,000 from the State Centennial Commission to help fund the project. The
Commission has since contributed another $250,000.
been too long coming, but the USS Oklahoma Memorial is nearly complete,” Henry
said. “It seems very fitting that in December, the last month of
our centennial year, the ship named for our great state and the men who died
there will finally have the permanent memorial at Pearl Harbor that they’ve
so long deserved.”
survivors Paul Goodyear of Arizona and Ed Vezey of Colorado were both on hand
for the State Capitol Ceremony.
has never been about us. This has always been about the men who didn’t
make it off the USS Oklahoma that day,” Goodyear said. “There
isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about them, and I appreciate
everything the people of Oklahoma have done to help make this happen.”
that sentiment and said he was happy the memorial would be complete while some
of the survivors were still around to see the dedication ceremony.
has been a race against time for us, and many of the survivors who began this
fight with us are no longer here,” Vezey said. “But now we’re
nearly there and will finally have a fitting tribute to the 429 men who gave
their lives to keep our country free.”
addition to Goodyear and Vezey, Arles Cole, president of the Chapter One Pearl
Harbor Survivors Association, and Roland Nee, Oklahoma chairman of the Pearl
Harbor Survivors Association, were on hand to present a check for $1000. The
cost of the memorial is expected to be $1.1 million. An additional $100,000
is still needed.
One cost that
will not have to be born is the cross-country shipping of the marble and granite
for the memorial. Swift Transportation Co. Inc. regional manager Tom Cook
said the national trucking company had donated their services.
are privileged to be a part of the creation of the USS Oklahoma
said. “The sacrifices made at Pearl Harbor should never
be forgotten, and we are honored to make sure those men will always
and its escorts left EuroCraft Granite and Marble Fabrication in
Glenpool earlier on Thursday morning and headed to the Capitol. From
there the shipment traveled west on I-40 to the state border.
hope that other states will provide escorts as this shipment makes its way to
California. From there the markers will go by ship to Hawaii,” Reynolds
said. “I am honored to have had the privilege of working with the
USS Oklahoma survivors to make this happen. It’s an experience I
will cherish for the rest of my life.”
dedication ceremony for the USS Oklahoma Memorial will be held on December 7,
For more information, contact:
Sen. Reynold's Office: (405) 521-5522