1,511 Dog Tags Installed in USS Arizona Sculpture on Pearl Harbor Day

Dec. 13, 2002

On Saturday, Dec. 7, Tucson artist Susan Gamble will string 1,511 dog tags together as part of a sculpture to be installed just north of the University of Arizona Student Union Memorial Center at Mountain Ave. Each metal tag bears the name of one of the individuals assigned to the American Navy battleship U.S.S. Arizona on Dec. 7, 1941, the day it was bombed and sank to the bottom of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

The actual sculpture will resemble an 18-foot ship's mast, twelve feet wide at the tip, with strings of military-style identification tags wound around to allude to the rigging of the ship.

Susan Gamble is the daughter of a World War II veteran, but when she attended the University of Arizona in the 1960s, she had no idea that the Union included a memorial to the U.S.S. Arizona.

"I want people to know that it is a memorial," she said. "The dog tags will be high in the air so no one will read the names. Even though each individual is identified, I want to point to the mass of people who lost their lives in a short time."

The sculpture will be erected in the center of the roundabout immediately north of the Student Union Memorial Center.