By CAROL COMEGNO
Three security companies have donated almost $50,000 in equipment and services to protect historical artifacts at the Battleship New Jersey Memorial and Museum on the Camden Waterfront.
Vector Security of Mount Laurel, Radionics of Salinas, Calif., and Interlogix of Minneapolis-St. Paul provided the alarm systems that protect museum exhibits, artifact storage areas, the ship store and the visitor center gift shop.
Officials of the Home Port Alliance, a nonprofit group of government, business, civic and labor leaders that operates the battleship New Jersey, made presentations to the firms Monday on board ship in appreciation of their efforts.
Museum Executive Director Thomas Seigenthaler said their contribution is important in preserving part of the ship's history and will continue to play a significant role as more artifacts are donated. The collection includes dinnerware, uniforms, photographs, tools and ammunition.
On Monday, Seigenthaler presented company executives with U.S. flags flown on the mast of the New Jersey and folded in glass and wooden shadow boxes made in the ship's carpenter shop.
Keith Eaves, general manager of the Cape May Court House branch of Vector, said he proposed the companies get involved because of his father.
"I saw him and his old shipmates with tears in their eyes as they saw the ship come back to the Delaware River," he said. "Our generation does not have that type of connection but I felt we could establish our own connection to help the ship."
Vector installed control and communication equipment supplied by Radionics and sensors and video recording equipment from Interlogix.
"We were delighted to support the effort and give something back during these times to a naval vessel that protected country and freedom over several generations. It makes you proud to be an American," said Gary Kallman, vice president of North American sales for Radionics.