A part of Hawaii’s most-visited attraction is undergoing a $350,000 makeover.
It’s what most visitors to the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial come to see — the shrine wall with the names of 1,177 men who lost their lives during the attack on Pearl Harbor.
For the first time in 30 years, the wall honoring those men will have a new look.
“It’s been a long process — about five weeks — and the old wall has completely come down, and we’re almost finished with the new wall,” U.S.S. Arizona Memorial Public Affairs Officer Amanda Carona said.
Work on the shrine wall began in September and is expected to be finished in time for Veterans Day.
“I believe there’s about 16 more panels to be put in, and then we’ll be complete for the official dedication on Nov. 11,” Carona said.
Like other war memorials in Washington, the shrine wall is made of Vermont Olympic marble. Because of the elements in Hawaii, it’s expected to last about 15 to 20 years.
“The salt water and the weather effects the marble, and you start to see some deterioration,” Carona said.
Visitors to the memorial can still see the shrine wall through an opening in a construction barrier.
“They understand this process that needs to happen. They’re excited to see the new wall,” Carona said.
“I think they did a beautiful job on it. The whole memorial, the shrine wall and the people who handle all the crowds, to me, I think it’s beautiful,” visitor Dick Bacon said.
The new shrine wall will likely be reconstructed again before the 100th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
It’s the second phase of renovations to the memorial. During the third phase, the terrazzo flooring will be replaced.