Through the leadership of retired Navy Chief Quartermaster Danny Ray Moss, USN, a qualified submariner, and several other submariners who are members of the United States Submarine Veterans, Inc. (USSVI), the organization began discussing the concept of a memorial honoring U.S. submarine veterans to be located in the Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza, Phoenix, AZ. Enlisting the advice of local public structure designer, Renee Palmer-Jones, the group began the development of a vision for memorial structure and the feasibility of securing funding for the construction of the project.
Arizona Senator Al Melvin (R) championed the patriotic vision and introduced Senate Bill 1401 in the spring of 2014 to establish the construction of a memorial that honors all men who have ever served on a submarine in defense of the United States of America (not exclusive of those individuals from the state of Arizona). The Bill was unanimously approved by the Arizona State House and Senate and passed into law by signature by Governor Jan Brewer.
The Concept Development Report (CDR) provides preliminary information relative to the suggested vision and documents ancillary information crucial to the continued progress toward making the project a realty. The purpose of the report is to provide a document that can be used as a tool to garner constructive criticism and recommendations for the further refinement of the concept, site location and funding alternatives. The layouts and recommendations are conceptual and are subject to refinement based on input from the Legislative Governmental Mall Commission (LGMC) and the Arizona Historical Advisory Commission (AHAC).
The Arizona Silent Service Memorial (ASSM) Foundation approved the design concept and committed funding through various means via nonprofit organizational status through the Internal Revenue Service. It is believed that the memorial will self-finance through the sale of engraved memorial paver stones, corporate and private sponsorships, grants, and community contributions.
The ASSM vision for a submarine veterans' memorial is founded on honoring ALL "Silent Service" veterans by constructing an aesthetically pleasing and visually dramatic monument in the Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza that will be dedicated to those who have and are currently serving in submarines, a uniquely challenging assignment of military duty within the United States Navy. The vision began to develop in the summer of 2013 with the help of designer, Renee Palmer-Jones. The inspiration was to develop a structure that would resemble blue and green sea water, tumultuous waves of surface water and an attack class submarine bursting through the ocean's waves in an emergency ascent. Ms. Palmer-Jones captured that requested vision by utilizing clean lines on the memorial constructed with a red, white and blue combination of materials and colors.
Sketches were developed and brainstormed in order to formulate a design vision or concept of the size, layout, shape and functionality of the memorial structure. Through an array of considerations, the suggested concept was based on using red paver stones, set in sand atop a concrete pad that surrounds the base of the memorial. Resting upon the pavers will be a blue and green hued copper patina trapezoidal structure depicting waves of ocean water and foam. The top of the trapezoidal structure will feature a nuclear powered fast attack submarine executing an emergency surface procedure. This will be the only submarine monument in the country sculptured out of “Arizona Copper State” copper like that which we see on the dome atop our State Capitol Building. The determination of construction materials to be used is subject to change depending on the final approved architectural and engineering specifications, and, building code requirements.
The long sides of the memorial base will be adorned with gold and silver Naval submarine dolphin plaques (exact verbiage TBD). The short sides of the memorial base will display the affixed Great Seal of the United States and opposing it, that of the United States Navy emblem. These colorful emblems will be created by either water jetted processes or by stone mosaic.
The foregoing is an adaptation of an article titled "A Memorial Honoring U.S. Submarine Veterans" that was published in the Summer-Special Edition Arizona Veterans Connection, First Edition, Fourth Issue, 2014. The original article can be found by clicking here which will take you to page 5 of the Summer-Special Edition. To view the The Arizona Veterans Connection website click here.
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