Letters to the editor
Everyone in Southern New Jersey owes a very large "thank you" to those who worked on bringing the USS New Jersey back home. What a glorious victory it was for our section of the state when the Navy announced that the BB-62 would be berthed at the Camden Waterfront.
This World War II Navy veteran is thrilled that the right decision was made but honestly, I never doubted that the Home Port Alliance would rise to the occasion and produce the best application.
The ship will bring to the Camden Waterfront a first-class tourist attraction. Possibly more important, the ship will be a learning experience for those who don't know what the Navy was like from World War II to the present. To the Home Port Alliance, "Bravo Zulu" that's Navy lingo for "well done."
1st Vice President
Sampson World War II Navy Veterans, Inc.
Re: "Bayonne-area residents cry foul" (C-P, 1/20). After reading North Jersey veteran Bill Steffan's comments on the Navy's decision to house the USS New Jersey in Camden instead of Bayonne, I have concluded he must be eating too many sour grapes.
As for the rest of the people in North Jersey who think this is a "horrible decision," here is a South Jersey salute from me to you: "Tough ship!"
The Chamber of Commerce of Southern New Jersey congratulates the Home Port Alliance on its victory in bringing the USS New Jersey home. The Alliance is a diverse group of individuals who have worked tirelessly to bring the battleship to Camden. We extend special thanks and congratulations to Sen. John Matheussen, R-Gloucester, Camden County Freeholder Patricia Jones, Camden Mayor Milton Milan, and Congressmen Jim Saxton, R-N.J., and Rob Andrews, D-N.J., for leading the effort.
Many elected officials, businesspeople and veterans participated in this monumental task, and we salute them! Camden and the region will enjoy the positive economic impact as multitudes of tourists visit the battleship and its museum each year.
As South Jersey residents, we all share the overwhelming sense of pride and history surrounding this ship. We all can look forward to its arrival on the Camden Waterfront. The Chamber pledges its continued support for the next phase of making the battleship ready for display. With the Home Port Alliance committed to this project, there's little doubt that, come summer 2001, we can all experience the awesome ship.
DEBRA P. DiLORENZO
Chamber of Commerce
of Southern New Jersey
Gracious in victory
With all South Jerseyans, I rejoiced at the Navy's decision to give a permanent berth to the "Big J" at our Camden Waterfront. May we now be magnanimous enough not to gloat over our fellow New Jerseyans (they are not all New Yorkers!) in Bayonne. The Courier-Post's coverage of the berthing campaign has been excellent, and I read your banner headline, "We got the ship!" with tears in my eyes.
However, there are still many tears in me for the great tragedy our state experienced in the Seton Hall University fire. Surely, South Jerseyans' joy must be tempered with sorrow, and I hope that we will be gracious in victory.
The permanent berthing of the USS New Jersey will certainly assist with the revitalizing of Camden. A landmark built by the people of this area, the "Big J" performed better than any other warship of its time.
The "Big J" made us proud for all she did to preserve freedom and is now ready to stand forever as a museum to educate youth and all others about 60 years of some of the most dramatic history of the United States.
The "Big J" will also stand for one of the first occasions that the residents and politicians stood together to demonstrate the real power of the people of Southern New Jersey!
The BB-62 will be a big part of a unique complex that will more than assist Camden to become the new "inner harbor" with the E-Centre, minor league ball park, tram, Children's Garden, Aquarium, and the Waterfront. All these attractions are just another example of how the Milan administration, with cooperation from the county and state, recognizes that this is the focal point that will put both Camden and Camden County on the map as a "must location."
In the future, you will see Boy Scouts and other organizations camping out on board the "Big J." All who had a part in bringing her to Camden to stay should be very proud. Camden is definitely the "Diamond on the Delaware."
Let's keep up the great work. It is an exciting time to be a resident of Camden!
Celebrate on deck
I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all who have lent their support to the Camden site for the location of the battleship New Jersey. On Jan. 20, the Home Port Alliance Board of Trustees received word from the secretary of the Navy that our Camden application "won" his recommendation for the final berthing honors.
It will be with great pride that we now move forward with our plan to convert the battleship into an educational museum and veterans memorial that will be second to none. The public outpouring of support from all avenues was tremendous.
The future is bright for this treasure. The Alliance will do all it can to ensure that, once the battleship is open, all who visit her will come away knowing of her history and accomplishments, and of the contributions of New Jerseyans to her decorated past. I hope to celebrate with all of you on the deck of this great ship when that day comes.
SEN. JOHN MATHEUSSEN
N.J. Senate, 4th District
Congratulations, Courier-Post, for your part in the battleship New Jersey victory.
Your excellent editorial the day after the decision was announced was made even better by your very generous and becoming modesty in not mentioning your major role in the victory for Camden and South Jersey.
Clear-cut wins like this are few and far between, and you should be proud of your major contribution to the effort.
Made her day
Courier-Post, you made my day! As I schlepped through the snow out to the Courier-Post tube the day after the Navy made its announcement, I was looking forward to a great headline. You didn't let me down.
I am so excited, as I thought that politics would rear its ugly head again in the fight between South and North Jersey for the permanent berth of this ship. Thanks to the wonderful work done by the Home Port Alliance, especially writing such a comprehensive report to the Navy, there was little choice as to where "our ship" would go.
Now, if only I knew where to buy a plastic sleeve to hold my Courier-Post newspaper records to leave to my grandchildren and their children, I would be even happier if that is possible. Thank you sincerely for your coverage of this important event.
TERESA M. PEIFFER
Bravo to the Courier-Post for its off-the-chart, hug-the-world coverage of our winning the battleship New Jersey. Bless you!
The Courier-Post gives it to us with high-fives, banner headlines, living color and joy. In my book, you win Pulitzers in every category.
MARY T. PREVITE
N.J. Assembly, 6th District