The first shipment of marble markers bearing the names of the 429 men who died on the USS Oklahoma will soon be headed to California. From there they’ll be sent by ship to Ford Island in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii to complete the national monument for the USS Oklahoma which will be dedicated this December. State Sen. Jim Reynolds, who has been working with USS Oklahoma survivors on this project for the past several years, said there will be a brief ceremony at the South Plaza of the State Capitol next Thursday to mark the occasion.
The markers are being created by EuroCraft Granite and Marble Fabrication in Glenpool. Reynolds said Swift Trucking is donating their services to help move the markers from Glenpool, to the Capitol, then on to California.
“Governor Brad Henry and two USS Oklahoma survivors, Paul Goodyear and Ed Veazey, will be among those gathering for this ceremony as we ship out the first truckload of markers headed to Pearl Harbor,” said Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City. “This will be a wonderful occasion, and I would urge people to come join us as we continue to work to complete the permanent memorial to the 429 men who lost their lives on the ship named for our state.”
Reynolds said the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and members of various state biker organizations will escort the markers to the state border after leaving the Capitol on Thursday. He hoped additional escorts could be arranged in each state the trucks pass through.
“This December 7, it will be 66 years since those brave men died on the USS Oklahoma—the ship with the second highest lost of life of any the day of the attack. This memorial is long overdue,” Reynolds said. “I am so grateful for the efforts of the many people who have fought to make this a reality. We’ll send these markers off with a prayer and then look forward to seeing them installed when the memorial is dedicated this Pearl Harbor Day.”
The ceremony to observe the send-off of the markers will be held Thursday, October 18, 11 a.m., on the South Plaza of the Capitol.