U.S.S Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona

General Information

The USS Arizona Mall Memorial is located on the mall of the University of Arizona campus in Tucson, Arizona just outside the Student Union. The purpose of the memorial is to remember and honor the 1,177 marines and sailors, ranging from the ages of 18-29, who died in the bombing attack on Pearl Harbor. Construction began in October 2016, and was eventually completed in January of 2017. The $150,000 construction of the memorial was funded by over 440 donors.

Memorial Information

Funded by donors, the USS Arizona Mall Memorial consists full-scale outline of the U.S.S. Arizona's deck, with a full-scale outline of the entire ship wrapping around the grass on the mall. At the center where the foremast of the 597-foot long, 97-foot wide outlined ship lays the structure of the memorial.  The structure of the memorial consists of 1,177 brass medallions spaced one foot apart, a plaque explaining the significance of the memorial, and a flagpole are presented flush with the lawns and walkways of the mall. The memorial sits directly beneath the actual ship bell from the U.S.S. Arizona that hangs in the Student Union tower of the University of Arizona. Spanning from Old Main to the middle of the mall lawn, the outline of the ship is quite large, but leaves the grass area of the mall open to activities. 



Attack on Pearl Harbor

December 7, 1941-- "a day that will live in infamy." Pearl Harbor is a US naval base near Honolulu, Hawaii. On December 7, 1941, Japanese forces launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor that left more than 2,400 Americans dead, including civilians; more than 1,000 people were also wounded. Around 8 a.m. on a Sunday morning, more than 350 Japanese fighter planes bombarded the naval base, rendering much of the US Pacific fleet useless. The Japanese destroyed: five of eight battleships, three destroyers, seven other ships, and more than 200 planes. The attack on Pearl Harbor caused President Franklin D. Roosevelt to ask Congress to declare war on Japan.  The attack on Pearl Harbor would be the impetus to the United States officially joining World War II.

(For more information on the Attack on Pearl Harbor, visit the wikipedia page at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attack_on_Pearl_Harbor)

Importance to the Tucson Community

The project began as an individual's idea. David Carter's father spent most of World War II in the Pacific theater, and felt that outlining the ship on the University of Arizona mall would help give the student body a sense of the huge scale of the ship and the immense loss of human life. At the dedication in December 2016, U.S. Rep. Martha McSally, R-Arizona said, "You think of those who served and perished, and the 335 who survived — it was a typical day, if you think about it … and they didn’t know the world was about to change. These are just some of the stories of how they got up that morning — like we got up this morning. We are to continue with their legacy and honor them, and there is no more fitting a way to do that than this memorial at the University of Arizona. So as we are going to class or work or running down the Mall, we may stop and look at the names and remember their service, sacrifice and courage. May we continue with their legacy. Freedom is only one generation away from being lost."   At the opening ceremony, eight Arizonian service men who lost their lives were honored in addition to the 1,169 sailors and the marines that were killed upon the U.S.S. Arizona. The memorial is presented to honor those who lost their lives, survivors, and families affected by the attack.  The memorial has brought back interest in the U.S.S. Arizona in the community and has allowed for students to understand the atrocity of the event.


Where to Park When Visiting the Memorial

The closest parking garage to the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial is the Second Street Garage, located on the southeast corner of North Mountain Avenue and Easy Second Street. Parking costs $2/hour with a maximum payment of $10/day. To park in the garage without a parking pass, press the button at the gate to receive a ticket and lift the gate allowing entrance into the garage-- make sure to take this ticket with you as you will have to pay for it before returning to your car. Parking is free on weekends. The U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial is a short walk from the Second Street Garage.


The USS Arizona Mall Memorial is wheelchair accessible. Every parking garage on campus consists of elevators that can be used to change floors. The memorial itself is on flat ground in the middle of the mall, however, there is grass surrounding much of the outline so navigation may be slow or difficult. 


Everett Haynes, L. (2016, December 5). UA's Mall Memorial Makes 'Quiet Statement'. Retrieved from https://uanews.arizona.edu/story/uas-mall-memorial-makes-quiet-statement

Heffernan, Marissa. “USS Arizona Mall Memorial Opens.” The Daily Wildcat, 5 Dec. 2016, www.wildcat.arizona.edu/article/2016/12/uss-arizona-mall-memorial-opens.

McKinnon, Shaun. “University of Arizona dedicates USS Arizona memorial in Tucson.” Azcentral, The Republic | azcentral.Com, 4 Dec. 2016, www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-best-reads/2016/12/04/university-of-arizona-uss-arizona-memorial-pearl-harbor-tucson/94606070/.

“Pearl Harbor bombed.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, www.history.com/this-day-in-history/pearl-harbor-bombed.

“USS Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.” USS Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona, 2016, www.ussarizonamallmemorial.org.

“5 Things to Know Before Visiting Tucson's USS Arizona Mall Memorial.” Tucson.com, 13 Dec. 2016, tucson.com/news/local/things-to-know-before-visiting-tucson-s-uss-arizona-mall/collection_d540b712-c0c2-11e6-bf03-83d7198d17fa.html#1.