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Thursday, August 11, 2005Past Issues - S | M | T | W | T | F | S
 
South Jersey

Friday, November 9, 2001
Veterans Day program planned for battleship

By CAROL COMEGNO
Courier-Post Staff
CAMDEN

A Valley Forge Military Academy professor will be the keynote speaker at a Veterans Day ceremony Sunday aboard the USS New Jersey.

The event will be the first holiday commemoration on the battleship since it opened last month as a museum.

Regular admission will be charged to attend the 2 p.m. public ceremony, said ship museum program director Jack Shaw.

Col. Patrick Murray, a history professor at the academy, will deliver a speech entitled "The Significance of Veterans Throughout U.S. History."

Retired Rear Adm. Thomas Seigenthaler of Haddonfield, executive director of the Home Port Alliance, will also give an address: "Today's Military: In Harm's Way."

The alliance, a nonprofit group of South Jersey government, business and civic leaders, opened the ship to the public as a floating museum Oct. 15, after a year-long restoration. The repairs were part of a $22 million project that was financed by grants from the state, local government agencies, the U.S. Department of Transportation and private donations.

The 887-foot long warship - one of four in the largest class ever built by the Navy - sits at a new pier on the Delaware River behind the Tweeter Center and just south of the waterfront marina and New Jersey State Aquarium.

The New Jersey, also known as Big J, is a veteran of three major wars and was launched on Dec. 7, 1942, from the former Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, where it was built during World War II. The ship served during that war, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Beirut Crisis. The nation's most decorated battleship, it earned 19 campaign stars and other citations.

It was decommissioned in 1991 and towed to Camden in 2000 after the Navy donated it for a museum.

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