Shrine wall to be replaced at USS Arizona Memorial
HONOLULU — A marble wall with the names of the 1,177 sailors and Marines killed on the USS Arizona will be replaced over the next two months.
The shrine room at the USS Arizona Memorial will be closed but will be visible to visitors, with most of the work to be done after hours, National Park Service spokeswoman Amanda Carona said.
The original wall was replaced in 1984. The current wall has become stained and eroded from saltwater.
The shrine wall replacement represents the second phase of a three-part restoration that began in 2012, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Tuesday.
The shrine honors sailors and Marines who died in explosions and fires on the Arizona in the Dec. 7, 1941, attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor.
“Viewing the shrine room wall is one of the most impactful experiences in Pearl Harbor,” said Paul DePrey, superintendent for the national monument. “It is the collective headstone to the USS Arizona crew who sacrificed their lives for their country. Keeping the wall in good condition is elemental to what we must do as stewards of the memorial.
The USS Arizona Memorial is the most frequently visited tourist attraction in the state, according to the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites website.
Carona said 1.8 million people visited the memorial in the 2013 fiscal year.
Pacific Historic Parks has been leading the restoration effort, working with public and private entities to raise $750,000 to complete the repairs.
The new wall is expected to be dedicated on Veterans Day.