Hike up the gangway, step onto the teak boards, stand in the shadow of the great guns, look out onto the water and imagine the battles at sea. The "Big J" finally is open for business.
After much anticipation, secret maneuvers, fanfare, ribbon-cutting and official pronouncement, the USS New Jersey opened its hatches to the public Monday, providing guided tours for anyone who wants to see America's greatest battleship.
The "Big J" is a window into America's past, a link to its military present and just another step toward what could be Camden's brighter future.
Not only is it a proud symbol of struggle for all the wars in which it fought - World War II, Korea and Vietnam. It also represents South Jersey's determination to rise up and triumph - to claim this proud fighting machine as its own, despite competition from Bayonne.
So drop by and have a look at this floating city. The " Big J" long can remind us of America's strength and South Jersey's fortune.
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