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

May 22, 1998

South Jersey, unite!

The Waterfront near the Aquarium at Wiggins Park, Camden, is an ideal spot for the venerable old battleship, the USS New Jersey. If those in political office will make the effort, it will work. If we do not form a solid front now, the opportunity will be lost forever.

The USS New Jersey was built in the same area as the greatest shipbuilding facilities that ever existed in the United States. The Delaware River shipyards represented the efforts of one-quarter million workers during World War II to build the largest and most formidable warships of every description.

Since the New Jersey was built at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, it should spend its remaining lifetime here in South Jersey. It may be true that the committee that was formed several years ago has raised a substantial amount of money to fund the project, including the Battleship N.J. license plates. But the plates were purchased by all people in the state, not just Bayonne.

The USS Intrepid naval museum is right in downtown New York City. While it has had a large amount of visitors and publicity, I believe it would be counterproductive to that venture to have the New Jersey nearby. Many of the same people would have to decide which was their destination. That would reduce the expected number of visitors to each site.

Having the huge battleship in the shadow of the Ben Franklin Bridge on the Jersey side would create a visibility of hundreds of thousands of motorists a week. That alone would be a decided asset. Philadelphia is a 'destination' city and is in close proximity to the proposed site. Remember the plan in the works to have a direct link from the Maritime Museum at Penn's Landing to the Camden Waterfront?

It takes a great many volunteers to make a museum ship a success. I am sure that alone would make the Camden site more successful than Bayonne. This is a ship-oriented part of the state because of its recent involvement with New York Ship, Cramp Ship, Sun Ship, the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard and a dozen others that made this area great.

D.J. DORFLINGER
Berlin



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