MONKEY ISLAND, Okla. – The Shangri-La Resort on Monkey Island in Oklahoma is preparing to hold a grand opening on a new, $12 million facility on Friday. Part of that facility, includes a memorial to the U.S.S. Oklahoma.
The Shangri-La Resort is welcoming a very special addition to its grounds. Communications Director Mike Williams says “The anchor is a replica of the exact anchor on the ship, weighs 20,000 pounds, just the chain weighs 2,000 pounds, and that was the inspiration for the name ‘The Anchor’ for the activity park.”
It’s part of a multi-million dollar project for a new venue at Shangri-La, as Williams mentioned, named ‘The Anchor.’ it features a number of new amenities for guests and members including a $1 million arcade. But the most important part of this addition, is the U.S.S. Oklahoma. “The U.S.S. Oklahoma’s a very special deal for us, 429 sailors and marines when that was capsized at Pearl Harbor in 1941 and we have the names and numbers of all 429 casualties as part of this memorial here.”
Shangri-La member Bill Schenke says he’s pleased with the new venue on site, and proud of the new addition out front. “It just shows the character of the people that are up here and it’s an honor to be able to stand in front of this and read the names on the plaques and really understand, that, we remember.”
Williams is looking forward to the official grand opening and dedication, which is scheduled for this Friday at 1:00pm and will feature a number of local dignitaries including Oklahoma Lieutenant Governor Matt Pinnell. “The U.S.S. Oklahoma Memorial is a tribute to our state, a tribute to our history, a tribute to our military men and women and those who have sacrificed all to protect the freedoms that we have, so yea, it’s a great honor for us to be able to have this memorial here and be able to share it with visitors from throughout the United States and around the world.”
Williams says there are only two other U.S.S. Oklahoma memorials in the country, one in Pearl Harbor, the other is in Oklahoma City.
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