SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – As we think about the struggle to preserve freedom this 4th of July, Craig Wirth recalls Utah’s important role in naval history.

On July 2, Wirth talks about the USS Utah.

“The USS Utah was perhaps the most modern ship of them all when she hit the seas 110 years ago,” Wirth shares.”It was a story that starts with awesome technology-of power and pride. Plus it was built with a touch of elegance all the way down to silver service for dinner plates.”

According to the historian, the USS Utah launched in 1911. Her purpose was to steam across the seas…as a battleship.

Wirth says the USS Utah protected American interests including the new panama canal.

“Her modern 12-inch guns were a fierce force back then and her five turrets were the best of the navy. The elite turret crews trained with the best equipment…However, they knew when it was time to leave the deck when the earth shaking guns were fired.”

Wirth says the USS Utah is a colorful tale that takes a sad turn and ends in tragedy.

Tune in every Sunday at 10 p.m. to watch Wirth Watching exclusives unfold or check them out online, every Monday morning.