USS Arizona sacred artifact arrives in Amarillo


    The USS Arizona portion of a ship deck artifact arrives in Amarillo. (ABC 7 Amarillo- Jala Washington).<p>{/p}

    Arriving as an 800-pound piece of historic, sacred glory, part of the sunken ship deck from the USS Arizona leaves those in its presence stunned.

    "They call this a sacred relic because these are people from even in this area that died in service to their country," said Veteran Bill Youngren. "And that means a lot."

    Youngren is just one of several who have come from all over Texas to be a part of the celebration.

    "America is important to all of these people in this room," said Youngren. "That's why they [wear] the uniform and are a proud to be a part of each and every moment in our history, whether it's today or tomorrow."

    Randall County Judge, Ernie Houdashell, is the one who approached Congressman Mac Thornberry's office asking for help on his behalf.

    "[The artifact] was over off of Pearl Harbor, on an island," said Houdashell. "And so they took pictures for me, and showed me pictures, and I told them I saw a piece I thought would work for us."

    Houdashell said the process has been about about a year and a half long, yet wouldn't be possible without UPS's willingness to get it here. And he said they did so free of charge.

    "Inside it was very emotional," said Houdashell. "I tried to contain it the best I could, but it was a pretty big event for me personally, just the fact that somebody finally helped us. Some big people, other big carriers turned us down."

    Now, this sacred piece of the USS Arizona will be prepped for the Texas Panhandle War Memorial.

    "This is a piece of living history that will be shared for the generations, and it's important to the people here in the Amarillo area and in Texas," said Youngren.

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