Next to the case holding the USS Arizona’s relic, an excerpt from a newspaper is shown, discussing the events which took place at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
Story and photos
By Christine MacIntyre
The State of Michigan Memorial to the USS Arizona is viewable at Sparks Foundation County Park in Jackson and is the only such memorial of its kind in the state. A dedication ceremony and unveiling of the memorial, which includes a relic from the sunken USS Arizona and several plaques, took place Tuesday, December 7. This day marks the 80th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Veterans, local VFW post members and commanders line up awaiting the presentation and unveiling of the memorial to the USS Arizona.
During the memorial, dozens of veterans, their families, and civilians gathered at Cascades Baptist Church for an opening and welcome ceremony, followed by the presentation of the memorial located near the existing 9/11 memorial and reading of the names of the USS Arizona Crew.
Jackson County Ritual Team members
Prayer, playing of taps, and the raising of the colors to full mast evoked heartfelt emotion and thanks for the service and dedication of those who have served and continue to serve their country.
Veterans gathered during the dedication ceremony and presentation of the memorial to the USS Arizona at Cascades Sharp Park.
Among the 28 Michigan sailors and marines who died serving on the USS Arizona during the attack at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, is Jackson’s own Stanley Czarnecki, Fireman First Class United States Navy.
Kevin Conklin, Commander Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of Michigan, joins in the reading of the names of sailors and marines across Michigan who died on the USS Arizona on December 7, 1941.
The project’s success and thanks are in huge part to the leadership, vision, and perseverance of U.S. Navy veteran Stanley (Stan) Mazur. His quest began nearly three years ago when the idea developed, followed by a lot of persistence, convincing, and collaborating with area contractors, county officials, and willing volunteers.
Kevin Conklin, VFW Department of Michigan Commander, (left) and Richard Dubay, American Legion Department of Michigan Commander, (right) are shown next to the physical memorial to the USS Arizona.
Mazur’s son, Jeffrey (Jeff) credits his father as being a “doer” and suggests the world’s need for more Stan Mazurs. “I am so proud to be your son,” he said during his tearful speech.
Kevin Conklin, Commander Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of Michigan is shown in the midst of prayer.
In addition to the vision and efforts Mazur provided, several local individuals and businesses donated time, materials, and monetary donations toward the project’s completion.
Fr. Tim MacDonald, Queen of the Miraculous Medal Church, offers a prayer of dedication during the presentation of the Memorial to the USS Arizona.
A heartfelt thanks were presented by Mazur at the conclusion of the dedication, as he stated it was one of the best days of his life. “It’s something that unites us,” he says, “and by golly, our country really needs all the unification it can get.”
Colors were risen to full mast by the Jackson County Ritual Team on Tuesday, December 7, during the presentation of the memorial to the USS Arizona.
Jackson County Veterans Council Chaplain Don Moody gives a benediction speech after the presentation of the memorial to the USS Arizona.
Stanley Mazur thanks the crowd that gathered on Tuesday, December 7 in honor of the completion of the memorial.
Stanley Mazur stands in front of the case containing a 4-foot- by 4-foot piece of steel from the sunken USS Arizona battleship.