Eagle Scout is renovating USS Utah Memorial to honor veterans

Zane Grzeszczak and members of Troop 180 pull weeds and oversee a new coat of paint being applied at the USS Utah Memorial. Photo courtesy of Dee Dee Grzeszczak

Story and photo by Brandon Bosworth
Contributing Writer

The USS Utah Memorial at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam is receiving a facelift from Eagle Scout Zane Grzeszczak, a 15-year-old sophomore at Pearl City High School.

He and his Boy Scout troop are working to improve and renovate the Utah Memorial on Ford Island.

“It was brought to my attention by my scout master that there was a possible project at the USS Utah,” Grzeszczak said. “I always wanted to do something to help and honor veterans, and this was the perfect opportunity.”

The USS Utah was sunk during the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Of the ship’s crew, an estimated six officers and 52 enlisted men were killed. The memorial was officially authorized by the 91st Congress in October 1970,and dedicated on Memorial Day 1972.

Grzeszczak and his fellow Scouts from Troop 180, along with help from local construction and paint companies, are installing a new concrete handicap accessible ramp and hand rail system at the memorial, as well as adding a new coat of paint to the deck. The area around the memorial is being landscaped, with old plants being removed and replaced with new plants and mulch.

It’s taken Grzeszczak nearly a year of planning and receiving approval for this project. Work began the first week of October and is scheduled to be completed by the end of the month.

“Things are going really well so far,” Grzeszczak said.

His mother, Dee Dee Grzeszczak, is very pleased by his project.

“I’m really proud of him,” she said. “The work they are doing will be around for a long time.”

“This is way overdue. I’m so proud of this young man and his desire to improve the memorial that honors the once-forgotten ship USS Utah, and members of the crew that still remain inside the ship,” said Jim Taylor, a longtime volunteer who has supported the memorial.

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Category: News