AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Earlier today, crews began setting up for tomorrow’s dedication ceremony to show the public the USS Arizona artifact.
The USS Arizona artifact is one of the largest recovered pieces from the ship, and it was transported from Hawaii to California and then driven to Texas.
President of the Texas Panhandle War Memorial Fred Rangel said he believes this artifact brings important history for all ages to Amarillo.
“It’s very important for the younger generations,” said Rangel. “Believe it or not, some of the generations that we’ve got right now, the older ones, they don’t even know a thing about what happened in Pearl Harbor. They’ve never seen the relic, so this is gonna be a surprise to them.”
Randall County Judge Ernie Houdashell explained the process of preserving the artifact to make sure it could withstand the Amarillo elements.
He described it as being vacuum sealed and similar to being in space.
“We tried to fix it to where it will be here for many, many years and it will be an excellent display and be pretty," said Judge Houdashell.
The artifact will also come with a large sign with a list of names of the men who died and survived on the USS Arizona during Pearl Harbor.
“Pearl Harbor, the Arizona, is a cemetery,” said Judge Houdashell. “There’s hundreds of men still buried on that. We have a piece of a national relic and it’s a sacred relic. Very few people have a piece that big. There’s a little bitty piece at the WWII Museum but we have a huge piece.”
Judge Houdashell then showed me the list of 85 men from Texas who died on the USS Arizona and three of those names were are all men from the Texas Panhandle.
One of the men on the list was from Borger, and he was a ranking officer on the Arizona and he survived the Pearl Harbor attack.
“It’s history, it’s definitely history,” said Rangel. “I really, really admire the veterans because they sacrificed for America’s freedom.”
The artifact will be placed at the Texas Panhandle War Memorial and the dedication ceremony will be located at the Happy State Bank Randall County Event Center on Friday, December 7 at 12:30 p.m.