Saturday, August 1, 1998|
Ship belongs in Camden
I am addressing this letter to you with great
excitement and anticipation as the battleship USS New Jersey
prepares to be transferred to its homeland. This is the first
time I have sat down and written a letter to an editor, a government
agency or to a political association.
The question of where to berth the New Jersey
has struck an interest and a fervor in me to get involved in
what is right for the memory of this glorious ship and those
who served on it, for the millions of visitors who are expected
to board the ship, and for the community that is honored as the
final berthing site.
Each of the three sites being considered -
Jersey City, Bayonne and Camden - can all make good arguments
as to why the ship should be docked at its site. In order to
make the final decision, it is necessary for those who will make
the decision to have the foresight to imagine what the site will
look like in 10 years. If one looks at the present Waterfront
in Camden, it becomes obvious that this is the sight that will
benefit everyone involved. Without a doubt, Camden will be reborn.
It is not if, but when.
Docking the ship in Camden can only assist
in that rebirth. With the present ferry system and proposed tram
from Philadelphia to Camden, the addition of the New Jersey in
Camden will add another great attraction to this beautiful Waterfront
As you are well aware, Philadelphia is one
of the most visited cities in America - 20.6 million visitors
last year. The New Jersey State Aquarium in Camden had more than
500,000 visitors last year. With the historical sites, the Penn's
Landing site, the active waterfront night life and the Aquarium
all presently here, it appears that berthing the USS New Jersey
in Camden is a natural choice and one that can be accomplished
with minimal fanfare.
Maybe I'm biased because I live close to Camden,
but really in my mind, this is a no-brainer. Picture the USS
New Jersey docked on the Delaware River, with a short walk to
the Aquarium, the awesome backdrop of picturesque Philadelphia,
a tram ride over and a ferry ride back. Compare that to a ferry
ride out to the ship in the New York Harbor, with a distant view
of the Statue of Liberty and the great city of New York and nothing
else to do except picnic at Liberty State Park. Or worse yet,
imagine Bayonne, with a docking that may have eventual redevelopment
after one traverses the roads from the Turnpike. It also affords
a distant view of New York and the Statue of Liberty.
I don't think so. It's a done deal. Do what's
right. Berth the USS New Jersey in Camden.
WILLIAM M. WRIGHT JR.
Praying for ship
I recall the majesty of the USS New Jersey
steaming into Wonsan Harbor, North Korea, in May 1951 when our
ship, the Brinkley Bass DD887, was struck by shore batteries.
This majestic ship belongs in the harbor where most men who served
aboard her or with her are located.
I am a veteran of World War II, Korea and
Vietnam. I earnestly pray the commission will look favorably
on bringing the mighty New Jersey home to Camden.
MANUEL J. KNOX