Story and photo by Brandon Bosworth
Capt. Stephen Grzeszczak (center) and his son, Zane, chat with USS
Utah survivor Gilbert Meyer.
The USS Utah Memorial received a facelift, thanks to the efforts of Eagle Scout Zane Grzeszczak, a 15-year-old sophomore at Pearl City High School.
Zane and his fellow scouts from Troop 180, along with help from local construction and paint companies, installed a new concrete handicap-accessible ramp and hand rail system at the memorial, as well as added a new coat of paint to the deck. The area around the memorial was landscaped with old plants being removed and replaced with new plants and mulch.
During the Dec. 6 twilight ceremony at the USS Utah Memorial, Zane spoke about his experiences.
“Working on this memorial meant to me much more than just another Eagle Scout project,” he said. “It made me feel proud and responsible knowing I was contributing to something much larger than myself.”
“I’ve always wanted to give back to our veterans, and this was the perfect way to do so. One day I hope to join the Navy and serve our great country like the brave men who are entombed in the ship and like the heroes who survived Dec. 7, 1941,” Zane said.
He explained the renovation project, which took nearly a year to complete. Improvements to the memorial included making it compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by installing a new concrete handicap ramp with a steel handrail and adding a handicap parking space to the parking lot. The deck and sidewalk were scraped to bare concrete and painted with epoxy paint, a new steel gate was installed, and the landscaping was improved.
“While in the midst of my project, I learned valuable skills like leadership and commitment,” Zane said. “My project took over 460 volunteer hours of planning and construction work and cost over $16,000 of donated materials, supplies and cash donations.”
“Looking back on the experience, I would not change a thing. Everyone who helped me along the way were simply amazing. From the construction team to the architect, my family and my troop, everything went along smoothly and as planned,” Zane said.