Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza


The Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza is located in Phoenix, Arizona. It is an urban park at the front of the Arizona state capitol complex. There are many memorials which honor prominent figures in Arizona history along with significant wars and other historical events in the state. The plaza has been designated as one of the Phoenix Points of Pride.

The plaza was established on March 9, 1978, in honor of Governor Wesley Bolin, who unfortunately passed five days before. The mall was created with an intended use as an open-air public space that features monuments, memorials and gardens.

Due to the location of the plaza it is used as a meeting place and focal point for protests and demonstrations. This was the case at the 2006 United States immigration reform protests where over 100,000 people took part in the rally.

There are 27 memorials at the plaza, the more prominent are the mast and anchor of the USS Arizona, other memorials are war related World War I and II, the Vietnam War and Desert Storm. There is also the Civilian Conservation Corps Memorial, Law Enforcement Memorial, Father Kino Statue, Arizona Pioneer Women Memorial and the Ernest W. McFarland Memorial.

The plaza has had its share of controversies over the years, due to the nature of the event of the subject of the monument, legal battles have even ensued over some of the monuments and memorials at the plaza. These have included the Ten Commandments Memorial, efforts were made to remove this monument as it was argued that it violated the concept of separate of church and state, as the plaza is a government operated location.

Another controversial memorial is the one erected to commemorate the September 11, 2001 attacks. Criticism started immediately as the memorial contained anti-American sentiments and some of the descriptions were meaningless. This process is ongoing.

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