A piece of USS Arizona is now on display at Mesa museum

MESA, Ariz. (FOX 10) -- A piece of World War II history with ties to Arizona is now on display in Mesa, as a section of the sunken U.S.S. Arizona battleship is part of a new exhibit at the Airbase Arizona Museum.

"This is one of the most significant acquisitions this museum has had since it's been here," said Bobbie Carleton, Museum Director of the Airbase Arizona Museum. "It was in the forward superstructure as best as we can tell and it went down with the ship, and there does appear to be some battle damage on it."

"The first bomb that fell at Pearl Harbor dropped about 100 yards from me," said WWII veteran Jack Holder, who survived Pearl Harbor.

Helping to unveil the artifact was 97-year-old Holder. The vivid memories of that day are still etched in his mind.

"I saw [U.S.S.] Arizona, Nevada, West Virginia, Tennessee, California, Utah, Oklahoma, Nevada all on fire, all sinking," said Holder.

Holder is hoping a sacred piece of steel will help educate others about this tragic event in our history. It's a day he'll never forget, and he's hoping others won't either.

"It's something you'll never forget, and I think it's something you'll never forgive for. I certainly haven't," said Holder.