Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: October 8, 2008
USS Oklahoma Survivors Ed Vezey and Paul Goodyear with painting
of the 2007 dedication.
Painting of USS Oklahoma Memorial Dedicated
A painting depicting the 2007 dedication of the USS
Oklahoma Memorial at Pearl Harbor was unveiled at the State Capitol
on Wednesday. Sen. Jim
Reynolds, who worked with the USS Oklahoma survivors to secure
the permanent memorial, said this will forever commemorate not only
the lives of the men lost on the ship named for this state, but
also, the survivors who never gave up on their dream of creating
a memorial for those who died on December 7, 1941.
“Their hope was to create this permanent memorial and see
it dedicated in their lifetime—and because of their perseverance
and loyalty to the 429 men who died that day, their vision became
a reality,” Reynolds said. “Oklahomans donated their
time and resources to help that happen, and now this historic event
will forever be remembered in this painting.”
Of the 800 USS Oklahoma survivors, about 90 were still alive when
the memorial was dedicated on December 7, 2007. Paul Goodyear and
Ed Vezey were among those survivors who attended the ceremony and
are depicted in the painting.
“It took us a long time to make this happen, but we succeeded,
and I am very grateful to everyone here in Oklahoma who helped us
make sure that those young men will not be forgotten,” said
Goodyear, who traveled from his home in Arizona to attend the unveiling
of the new painting.
The painting was the latest project of the Oklahoma State Senate
Historical Preservation Fund, Inc., founded by former state senator
and president of the organization, Charles Ford. The art was a gift
of the Oklahoma Centennial Commission and the Battleship Oklahoma
Memorial Commission, with Reynolds and his wife Diane as Senate
The painting is the work of Oklahoma City artist Christopher Nick.
A native Oklahoman, Nick received his formal art training at the
Atelier LeSueuer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which trains artists
in the tradition of the old masters. His paintings have been exhibited
throughout the United States.
Vezey was very pleased with the painting and how well it captured
the events of the memorial dedicationceremony.
“It was a very emotional event for all of us. We’d
worked so long, but it wasn’t about the survivors or anyone
else—it was always about the boys who never made it and their
families,” said Vezey, who makes his home in Colorado. “I
just want to thank everyone who helped make this happen.”
For more information
Senator Reynold's Office: (405) 521-5522